In the days following Tony Abbott’s election as Leader of the Opposition he received a barrage of calls from ex-staffers all desperate to work for him again. Most were women.

For instance… The opposition leader with his chief of staff, Peta Credlin. Picture: Kym Smith

There were two reasons for this. He has a solid record of employing women in prominent positions, and his leadership style is based on respect and equality.

Far from finding it difficult to take advice from women in powerful positions – Tony Abbott puts women into powerful positions. I doubt there is another senior politician who could match his record of senior staff appointments for women.

In his 18 year political career, Abbott has only ever appointed females to the senior advisory positions of chief of staff, office manager and media adviser (up until recently). His sole office manager has been with him for the past 14 years and his former chief of staff was in the role for 11 years.

Abbott takes daily advice from powerful women: his wife, his chief of staff, his office manager and let’s not forget his partnership with Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Julie Bishop.

But I don’t want to give you the wrong impression. He is not pro-women. He is pro-equality and pro-merit. People are appointed based on ability, not gender. The chief of staff to a Cabinet Minister and the chief of staff to the Leader of the Opposition are incredibly powerful positions. Abbott has entrusted these roles to women based on merit.

I worked as Tony Abbott’s media adviser during his time as Health Minister (2003-2007 with some maternity leave). I accompanied him across the country to countless meetings and through two election campaigns. He negotiated tirelessly with medical professionals and worked to solve critical problems with the health system.

He had close working relationships with many health professionals, including leaders such as Sue Page, the then president of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia, who praised him early in his ministership for his ability to negotiate resolutions to complex issues such as the medical indemnity crisis. He also appointed scores of senior female doctors, pharmacists, academics and medical researchers to national health committees in advisory roles. 

Never did I witness Tony Abbott treat or respond differently to women or men. But I did frequently witness the female Secretary of the Health Department give him frank and fearless advice.

In the first three years of Tony Abbott’s term as health minister, Julia Gillard was the Shadow Health Minister (2003-06). They were often invited to the same health stakeholder functions where Abbott was usually the guest of honour. He would always publicly acknowledge Julia Gillard and often invite her to say a few words. I’m not sure this decorum has been reciprocated during his time in opposition!

Such claims of problems working with women have only been made by political rivals looking to create a distraction for a focused opponent.

If Tony Abbott was the CEO of a company rather than a Liberal politician, would Tanya Plibersek - a former Minister for the Status of Women - be championing him as a leader who has helped women to break through the glass ceiling? Would she refer to him as someone who has used his own career to empower women?

The reality is the insults are politically motivated. Nonetheless, it is a shame that a powerful woman whose role was to promote women is now publicly denouncing someone who has helped many women to achieve extraordinary careers. 

Kate Miranda is a former media adviser to Tony Abbott.

Comments on this post will close at 8pm AEST

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163 comments

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    • eRon says:

      06:29am | 23/08/12

      It’s about time someone refuted this particular fallacy.
      The malice with which the left attacks Abbott, knows no bounds. Plibersek, and Roxon should have been widely pilloried for their disgraceful misrepresentations of Abbott’s attitude to women, but the press can’t bring themselves to do it.
      Why is that, I wonder?

    • Emmy says:

      08:00am | 23/08/12

      Roxon should be more worried about the latest AWU scandal now that she has been implicated.

    • fml says:

      08:32am | 23/08/12

      So the right’s attacks on the size of the prime minister’s bum and incorrect spelling of her name shows a massive amount of respect for women, does it?

    • thatmosis says:

      08:33am | 23/08/12

      Certainly takes the wind out of the Labor party’s assertion that he doesn’t get on with women but then again they will try something else as is their want. Personal attacks didn’t work for Anna Bligher and they are backfiring badly for Julia and her bunch of incompetents. Of course personal attacks on Julia are a different matter as there is substance to those attacks and the crap sticks. She is a walking, talking crap magnet, everything she tries to do turns to crap and costs the tax payer billions.

    • Rosie says:

      08:34am | 23/08/12

      I totally agree eRon and may I just add that perhaps Tony Abbott and the majority of Australians are allergic to all the Labor try hard want to be liked female politicians.

      Naturally when you are allergic to something you will stay clear of it. This case we have no choice put allow them to fester on us! However, we wait come Elections we give them the boot.

      Thank you Kate for the sincere article about an outstanding passionate Australian that is trying to do a job to the best of his ability.

      PS: I am sick and tired of these so called capable women using our gender to cushion the positions that they hold in our society! It is a sign of insecurity!

    • Mouse says:

      08:46am | 23/08/12

      I find that the “sexist” attacks on Abbott by these women shows more that it is in fact THEY that have the gender identity crisis!  Women who are comfortable with who they are do not need to pull this type of stunt. When someone has to find outside excuses for their inadequacies, ie I’m too short/too fat/black/a woman/a man, it shows a basic lack of self worth within oneself. These women are in a position of power and are obviously not up to it. The language used by them is unnecessary and just shows a lack of intelligence.
      gillard calls Abbott “Jack the Ripper” in the House. (If I remember correctly, it was she that performed the midnight stabbing of her once revered PM!) I don’t believe she was even cautioned on that one by the female speaker. When Abbott refuses to retract “liar”, he’s kicked out for an hour. Hardly an even playing field is it? No, it is definitely not if you are a Liberal minister anyway. Maybe personal slurs are OK but the truth is too hurtful….who knows!
      These women want equality but only when is their way. A pity because they are not showing that women are extremely capable of doing their jobs without having to resort to these kinds of taunts. I don’t think Abbott at all has an attitude because they are women, I think they do though! lol :o)

    • Chris L says:

      08:54am | 23/08/12

      “Of course personal attacks on Julia are a different matter…”

      Of course they are. After all, that’s the other team. We wouldn’t want to be held to the same standard as we expect from the other side, would we?

    • Dick J says:

      09:12am | 23/08/12

      FML you miss the poin-t Abbott does not do this. It just like sayig the lefts attack on the girth of Clive Palmer but it is different with them Swann says it, Plibersek says it.

      I’m astounded that you fail to see the hypocracy of the ALP.

    • Dick J says:

      09:14am | 23/08/12

      FML you miss the poin-t Abbott does not do this. It just like sayig the lefts attack on the girth of Clive Palmer but it is different with them Swann says it, Plibersek says it.

      I’m astounded that you fail to see the hypocracy of the ALP.

    • jaki says:

      09:29am | 23/08/12

      fml says: 08:32am | 23/08/12
      So the right’s attacks on the size of the prime minister’s bum .....

      So, Germaine Greer is from the right, is she ?

    • JTZ says:

      09:48am | 23/08/12

      @fml so how about the attacks on Abbott wearing the budgie smugglers or the attacks on the size of his ears. How about the incorrect spelling of Abbotts name and the fact that at the last election Julia Gillard refered to him ar Rabbott. Does this show a massive amount of respect for men.

      Or is it ok for the left to do this but the right cant. Please give reasons to why this is allowed.

    • Borderer says:

      09:48am | 23/08/12

      eRon,
      Abbott attacks labor politicians who happen to be women, therefore he is a mysogonist, it can’t be for any other reason like, their incompetence, lying, poor conduct or anything like that.
      Labor also tried painting him a racist on Australia day, that backfired too.

      Personally if I were him I’d just come out and say “If only I was attacking them because I was a sexist creep, that would mean you, the Australian people were being served by capable, competant politicians. You aren’t though are you? So when I call bullshit, they suddenly turn into meek little girls who the big bad man is shouting at. I have many capable women in my life whom I have a great deal of respect for, these members of the government are not amongst them. Gender should never be an issue in good governance, we should never accept a bad leader because they are a man or a woman, to lead is to serve and we simply deserve better.”

    • Rosie says:

      09:54am | 23/08/12

      fml & Chis L

      Personal attacks on Julia’s bum is to be expected just as personal attacks on Tony Abbott’s ‘big ears’ and being called Mr Rabbit! It happens to all high profile people. These attacks do not undermine a person’s passionate ambition to hold on to the office of PM or for one that is trying to attain that position because they think and know the job could be better serviced by them.

      This “Abbott hate women thing” is a fallacy used by Labor to attack Abbott because they can’t bear to see him become Australia’s next PM.

      Julia knows her days are gone - Roxon & Plibersek have to rely on Julia being our PM to hold on to their status in society! Very insecure and will do and say anything to keep the circus going for as long as they can. Craig Emerson is the female version of Roxon & Plibersek! He is more annoying than all of them.

    • fml says:

      10:17am | 23/08/12

      Jaki,

      I am talking about commentators on the punch. How big is your bum? If its too big I won’t listen to any of your debate, sound fair?

      Dick J,

      “FML you miss the poin-t Abbott does not do this”, No, that’s right maybe his supporters should emulate his respectfulness?

      Now, it may be that there is less lefty’s here, but if you go and count the number of left vs right wing pejoratives, You will see the right insults towards the left outnumber the other way round. That is the hypocrisy, or would someone like to prove me wrong by doing a count?

    • Brad Coward says:

      10:27am | 23/08/12

      @FML….please provide the link to prove that Abbott has ever mentioned the PM’s backside or mispronounced her name.  YouTube footage would be better.  So please go ahead and make my day.

      I imagine that I won’t be hearing from you soon.

    • Brad Coward says:

      10:27am | 23/08/12

      @FML….please provide the link to prove that Abbott has ever mentioned the PM’s backside or mispronounced her name.  YouTube footage would be better.  So please go ahead and make my day.

      I imagine that I won’t be hearing from you soon.

    • jaki says:

      10:35am | 23/08/12

      @fml
      Haven’t had any complaints smile

    • thatmosis says:

      10:38am | 23/08/12

      Chris L, I don’t expect any standards whatsoever from this almost Government after the lies and deceit of it so called leader. No Carbon Tax, young and naive and the list goes on and on.
        This almost Government lost any respect after the knifing of Rudd and the lies to get almost elected and the failed policies and the billions lost and the continued lies that they perceive as truth as they really dont know the meaning of the words truth, integrity, honesty, standards or even decency. Apart from those failings they are also doing a crap job.

    • fml says:

      11:03am | 23/08/12

      Brad coward,

      Never said abbott said any of these things, said it is prominent in his supporters, so I dont really need to show a vid of abbott saying them, how about doing a count of who gets attacked more from this page?

    • Chris L says:

      11:32am | 23/08/12

      @Mouse - Abbott had to be sanctioned for using the word “liar”. The word causes too much confusion when used in parliament as people try to work out which one of them it’s being applied to at any given time. Then there’s the whole exploration to see if there’s any other way to define the lie in question so it sounds less false. Easier to simply outlaw its use.

      Whereas accusing each other of virtual murder seems to be fine by everyone.

      Funny old world.

    • dovif says:

      11:49am | 23/08/12

      The lies from the left has gone far enough

      I have never seen or heard a member of the Liberals attack the size of Julia’s Butt, for her lying ... yes, but never her appearance

      The Left continuously attack Abbott’s preceived (lies) hate of women, his swimshorts, calling him Dr No

      Really, instead of attacking the man, how about coming up with competant policies instead, that are fully budgeted for?

      The left seem to blame everything on everyone else, if it is not the “Abbott” it is the Media, it is Julias’ staff (Anzac day), it is Julia’s boyfriend (AWU rort)

      Can the ALP and the left take some responsibilities instead of relying on lies and spin

    • Michael says:

      11:50am | 23/08/12

      FML, are you confusing what Greer said about Gillards bum with what the conservative side of politics thinks of her?

    • TimB says:

      11:59am | 23/08/12

      ‘fml says:11:03am | 23/08/12

      Never said abbott said any of these things,’

      But that’s the entire sodding point FML. *Abbott* is being attacked as sexist. *Abbott* is apparently the one showing disrespect. This entire article is defending allegations made against *Abbott*.

      So why do you insist on focusing on what the great unwashed are saying? Why is it when eRon calls out the left for attacking Abbott with no basis, you start pointing at the right in general? Abbott isn’t responsible for the statements of every blogger out there.

      The loony left will call Abbott the Mad Monk and ‘Big Ears’. The rabid right will refer to Gillard as Juliar and make cracks about her butt. The behaviour is prevalent on both sides. But it’s irrelevant to this article.

      The issue here is about Abbott specifically. And eveyone who paints Abbott as some sort of sexist man-monster, from Roxon to Plibersek, all the way down to the lefties right here on the Punch is just plain old wrong.

    • fml says:

      12:31pm | 23/08/12

      Michael,

      How can I confuse greer when I havn’t even mentioned her. I am talking about abbot supporters.

      “bbott isn’t responsible for the statements of every blogger out there.” Never said he was.

      “The loony left will call Abbott the Mad Monk and ‘Big Ears’. The rabid right will refer to Gillard as Juliar and make cracks about her butt. The behaviour is prevalent on both sides. But it’s irrelevant to this article.” Yes, but not to eRon’s post, yes both sides call say these things, but I am interested in which side it is more prevalent.

      Abbott says he is inline with modern values on women, I don’t believe him, why? because he said not to believe what he says. How am I supposed to believe someone who says not to believe everything they say? Now cue the people calling the prime minister a liar, while only presenting half a quote.

    • Tom says:

      01:05pm | 23/08/12

      Don’t you just love the sound of fml back-peddling?

      “Mr rAbbott” was a favourite cute phrase of Gillard’s. The fmls of the world applauded “‘cos the sister was out there roughing it with the boys”. Then “Juliar” came along and the fmls are shrieking “ya wouldn’t hit a girl?”

      No fml. eRon was referring to the constant campaign of vilification against Abbott conducted by Labor with the aid of an eager press gallery. Please don’t come back that somehow Abbott is responsible for the Slater and Gordon stuff, because that is entirely Labor and pretty well supported by Labor’s faithful.

    • Michael says:

      01:49pm | 23/08/12

      FML, you are using less than half the original quote yourself here friend.

      Abbott says he is inline with modern values on women, I don’t believe him, why? because he said not to believe what he says. How am I supposed to believe someone who says not to believe everything they say? Now cue the people calling the prime minister a liar, while only presenting half a quote

      You can’t see that you are doing what you accuse your imagined opponents doing. You are in an argument with a part of your own self that you deny exists.

    • fml says:

      02:26pm | 23/08/12

      Geez tom,

      I didn’t know trying to explain to you that i didn’t say something is back peddling. Seriously? So if i claim that you called everyone an idiot, then you say you didn’t, that is somehow considered backpedaling?

      “The malice with which the left attacks Abbott, knows no bounds. ”
      Yes I know what this article is about, but I am referring to the quote above which is in eRon’s first post. And I am pointing out while both sides do it but it is more prevalent with the liberal supporters.

      Bloody hell, you righties really know how to twist words, shove in mouth, then attack.

      Just in case you don’t understand, I wasn’t referring to abbott I was referring to the quote above said by eRon in his first post.

      But If you do want some quotes by abbott on women, here they are.

      But what if men are by philosophy or temperament more adapted to exercise authority or to issue command?

      29/8/98

      For myself, I don’t support “women’s” causes. I support conservative causes.

      5/9/08

      I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons.

      What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing is that if they get it done commercially it’s going to go up in price and their own power bills when they switch the iron on are going to go up, every year …

      8/2/10

      I think in many households it is still much more common to see the woman of the house with an iron in her hand. And I’m afraid in our house that’s the way it

      Google any of them for dozens of references.

    • MikeC says:

      06:30am | 23/08/12

      If you can’t find a fault to criticise someone about, then the last resort is to make it personal. Obviously in this time of political correctness the easiest and loudest attack on a male is to throw out the “Sexist” card.

      These shallow women do nothing for women’s equality when they stand around bleating about how sexist Tony Abbot is and then in the next sentence denigrate men for what they achieve. Equality works both ways and starts with respecting individuality.

      The mature adults amongst us recognize people for who they are and what they achieve, not based on their gender. Yes there are plenty of immature people with backwards ideas, but that is the world in which we live. Give these people the time and exposure they deserve, none!!

      Get on with running the country not running it into the ground.

    • Gregg says:

      06:32am | 23/08/12

      Well written Kate and really unneeded to be done for those who look at Tony and his family/community/political roles rather than just attempting to do some political point scoring based on gender rather than actions and performance.

    • Rose says:

      09:14am | 23/08/12

      Kate was his media advisor, a spin doctor, of course it was well written. As for Abbott, I don’t give a rat’s arse about whether or not he is anti-women, although he has made some sexist remarks in the past. I think however that happens because he hasn’t moved on from the 50s in a lot of respects. My problem with Abbott i that he is devoid of any policies which will improve the well being of any but the most well off Australians, he is elitist, way too Conservative and mean spirited.

    • Gillards toast. says:

      10:49am | 23/08/12

      Yes its SO 50’s to have a generous maternity leave policy…..wake up!

    • Henry says:

      11:30am | 23/08/12

      You can make light of it, but the truth is the Conservatives of Abbott’s ilk are well and truly stuck in the 50’s.
      No conservative propaganda “shared” from the opinion pages of the Telegraph will change that.
      The Telegraph… Don’t make me laugh.

    • Zaan says:

      02:15pm | 23/08/12

      Yes Henry, it’s for all to see, his poor wife chained to the sink, his girls browbeaten. Give it a rest, I’m sure like the majority of people, the women in his life would be offended at your opinion. They all seem like strong, independent women to me.

    • Tom says:

      03:13pm | 23/08/12

      Gee Rose, why don’t you throw in the socialist cliches of racist and homophobic and yell out bingo?

      Henry, if its the modern thing to steal lowly paid workers’ money and use it shout your mates a couple of bangs at the brothel, give me the 50s any time.

    • nihonin says:

      06:34am | 23/08/12

      This is gunna be good!  Can’t wait for the usual suspects to howl about News Limited support as the slander fest to begin on what is basically an article on some of the positive points of apparently evil ‘Dr. No’, we usually don’t get to hear/read about.  Hopefully the Punch will provide an article about Julia Gillard in the near future along the same lines.

    • TChong says:

      08:22am | 23/08/12

      nihonin
      alledged media bias, from the Right or Left is exactly what is troubling
      eRon ( first post) .
      I was going to type something to the effect that both sides make these claims. Your post shows bias does indeed seem to be in the eye of the beholder.
      ( not criticising your POV, I’m just trying to show how two very different POVs can be got from the same article- [  an example of Ozs Best Conversation] )

    • Mayday says:

      08:25am | 23/08/12

      Still waiting for a piece on the “Slush fund” and subsequent expose of Ms Gillard and Ms Roxon’s role in the Slater and Gordon/AWU affair?

      The mantra “attack is the best defence” is becoming tired and old, how about telling the truth?

    • Chris L says:

      09:02am | 23/08/12

      It’s a “slander fest” every day here Nihonin. It goes in both directions but people seem to only notice when it’s against their own side.

      I’m glad Kate came out with this article, but I don’t expect there to be much attitude change. Facts never seem to get in the way of a good sledging here.

    • acotrel says:

      07:01am | 23/08/12

      Some of Abbott’s attitudes are extremely reminiscent of his first political mentor, Mr B.A.Santamaria.  Women should be kept barefoot and pregnant ?

    • Ziggy says:

      07:29am | 23/08/12

      And your eveidence to support this is?

    • nihonin says:

      07:29am | 23/08/12

      You blind in the other eye now, acotrel?

      You’re projecting your own sexism on to others.

    • JTZ says:

      07:54am | 23/08/12

      @acotrel please provide information to Abbott saying this otherwise all it is slaner. I noticed a while back how you kept quiet about the meowgate saga. Were was Roxon and Pilberseck and even Wong when one of labors own male ministers made a meow call when Julia Bishop was in parliment? The labor reply later to this was its politics but yet when it was th other way around we had a entire parliment session at attacking Abbott.

      Let me point another thing out to you. Roxon made a comment about how Abbott turn his back on Gillard when she speaks. Well should I include all the pictures of Gillard either turning her back or walking out of the chamber when Abbott spoke. This is sexist yet you keep quiet about.

      Stop playing the gender card.

    • Gregg says:

      07:58am | 23/08/12

      acotrel never bothers with evidence Ziggy.

    • Badjack says:

      08:03am | 23/08/12

      It didn’t take long, did it. Go you good thing aco

    • Dash says:

      08:53am | 23/08/12

      Has that script been issued to other ALP party members too acotrel?

      The ALP are full of hypocrites!

      It would appear the ALP and the union movement think Women should be used to set up dodgy legal entities to allow them to defraud members funds!

    • PsychoHyena says:

      09:20am | 23/08/12

      @Dash, while we’re on that topic, let’s discuss the defamation case against Abbott shall we? Oh I’m sorry I forgot, only the ALP are fair game in the world of misbehaviour aren’t they?

      Hypocrites it would appear Dash are on both sides of politics. If you attack one then you should attack both or just shut-up.

    • Brad Coward says:

      11:09am | 23/08/12

      acotrel….are you making a statement of fact or merely asking a question.  Your final sentence, ending with a question mark, makes me wonder if you are hoping that someone will rush to your aid to support your remark.

    • vox says:

      12:14pm | 23/08/12

      Brad Coward seems to find fault with Acotrel attributing that remark to the evil Santamaria, (Abbott’s mentor and model), but he seems to be confused, when actually Acotrel is asking whether that view, in re “women”,  is questionable.
      That’s my take on it, anyway.
      As regards Abbott’s selection of women as staffers I would venture that, given his published opinions, he finds them easier to dominate than men.
      I just can’t get past his history of deception and political opportunism.
      Incidentally, in connection with the secrecy surrounding the reasons for Abbott being sacked from the semenary, I read “his” explanation which was published in the “Bulletin”. Thanks all for the link.
      If Abbott wrote any part of that diatribe I will immediately join that bunch of old women, the almost defunct National Party. Which group is also bullied by Abbott. (What happened to the Leader of the Nats being the Dep. Leader of the Opposition? Answers anyone?).

    • Two cents worth says:

      01:53pm | 23/08/12

      They say “the best defence is a good offence”. A gambit often used by the current populace occupying the seat of government.
      As for this article, why would Ms. Miranda bother to write it were it not true? Tony Abbott certainly is capable of defending his own position.

    • KH says:

      07:16am | 23/08/12

      The more cynical of us might wonder why there have never been any male chiefs of staff - another man might be too threatening for him.  I’m sure he thinks women are great, as long as he is above them.  I’ve met a few men over the years who are happy to work with women, as long as they are the one giving orders.  They show their true colours when the woman in question is giving them orders.  Thats when we find out what they really think, and its pretty damn obvious from his sulky bullying behaviour that he doesn’t like it when a woman is above him in the pecking order.

    • nihonin says:

      07:35am | 23/08/12

      So KH, you like being dominate, just because you do, doesn’t mean everybody does.

    • CiscoKid says:

      07:55am | 23/08/12

      No KH,you see men waste time they continually talk about the football all day ,the women they did or didn’t do at the weekend ,then it’s cricket and more football ,who’s going to win at the next game and then in between they spend far too much time scratching their balls .Women on the other hand are organized and get down to work all day ,the only thing they worry about is are the children safe .So it just make sense to employ women to get the job done right.

    • TimB says:

      07:58am | 23/08/12

      The more cynical among you will simply find any excuse to attack the man. Had he only had male staff, you would have bitched about him ‘being scared of women’ or some garbage.

      The truth is no matter what Abbott does, he can’t win against the haters.

    • Zaan says:

      08:23am | 23/08/12

      KH, that comment says more about you than Tony Abbott. I am a female and would much rather work for a male than a female, women are the worst bullies in the work place and very paranoid. Sadly.

    • AdamC says:

      09:39am | 23/08/12

      Yeah, whilst the more intelligent among us realise that, at least in the eyes of Labor smear-merchants and their fawning media acolytes, Tony Abbott is damned if he does and damned if doesn’t.

      Besides, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to appreciate that this is all just back-door Catholic-bashing.

    • jaki says:

      09:51am | 23/08/12

      So, if he has male chiefs of staff he has a problem with women but if he has female chiefs of staff he has a problem with men.
      Thanks KH, it’s always fascinating when idiots like you give us a glimpse of how your tiny little minds work.

    • KH says:

      10:26am | 23/08/12

      Jaki - what an idiotic statement given that isn’t what I said at all.  But thanks for your deep insight…....

    • jaki says:

      10:53am | 23/08/12

      @KH
      Here’s what you said;
      “The more cynical of us might wonder why there have never been any male chiefs of staff - another man might be too threatening for him.”
      And this;
      “........ he doesn’t like it when a woman is above him in the pecking order.”
      So in your idiotic view, he has a problem with women AND men.
      Ever stopped to think that it might be YOU that has a problem? It’s pretty obvious.

    • Nilbog says:

      11:26am | 23/08/12

      KH = pwned smile

    • MK says:

      11:44am | 23/08/12

      I did find it a little strange to on one hand emphasise the point that he has only ever hired women to these postions,

      and then flip over to claim that they were hired purely on merit and nothing to do with gender.

      If it was purely on merit, it is statistically improbible to end up with only one gender

      @CiskoKid
      Hahahaha Good one,
      Men are lazy and disorganised, talk all day
      women work all day never chit chat

    • AdamC says:

      11:48am | 23/08/12

      @KH, that is exactly what you are saying. Sheesh, some of you are beyond satire!

    • Fred says:

      07:21am | 23/08/12

      Dont worry Kate, your article was not required. Any voter with a skerrick of intelligence would have seen Roxons and Plibs performances yesterday for what they truly were…another bottom feeding desperate act by 2 low life politicians who have no credibility or capability. Another stunt by a dying political party that has no relevance in a modern world.

    • Al says:

      08:22am | 23/08/12

      Fred - Whilst I don’t disagree with your sentiments there is one thing that you are neglecting, that being the majority of Australian voters don’t have a skerrick of intelligence. This is why BS like this has been so successfull in the past.
      Luckily some people seem to be finaly able to smell the BS and seem to be getting others to open their eyes.
      I guess you just have more faith in the intelligence and actions of the average Australian voter than I do.

    • gobsmack says:

      07:42am | 23/08/12

      He takes daily advice from his wife?

      That is unheard of.

      He really must be enlightened and in tune with gender issues.

    • eRon says:

      11:00am | 23/08/12

      My wife gives me PLENTY of advice…

    • nihonin says:

      11:05am | 23/08/12

      Must stretch out arm further…......so hand can grasp straw

    • Richard M says:

      08:02am | 23/08/12

      I suppose we should really have come to expect this sort of stuff, but it’s still just a little hard to take that our leading media company is so openly biased.  It is to laugh, really, when, amongst the daily attacks on Julia Gillard, many of them just plain vicious and personal, we then have this sickening sycophantic fawn over Abbott from a Liberal Party staffer.  Give us a break, chaps - isn’t this just a little bit obvious and over-the-top, even for you? This will shortly be followed, perhaps, by another of Ms MIrabella’s bile-filled outpourings about the PM.

    • Mayday says:

      08:32am | 23/08/12

      Mud sticks Richard and the PM is one very sticky woman in a very sticky situation. 
      Election now please!

    • ZSRenn says:

      09:48am | 23/08/12

      Are you new here? Obviously you have never read anything by Penbo or the Chief Editor Mr Farr. That is one thing I like about the Punch. You get all points of view and to say otherwise shows your welded on status.

    • Richard M says:

      10:00am | 23/08/12

      Yes, I guess you mob would want an election as soon as possible, because you are just starting to notice that, as the election gets closer, the voters, many for the first time, are starting to focus on the possibility of Abbott being PM, and not much liking what they see.  This is added to significantly by the performance of newly elected Coalition State Governments, like Campbell Newman’s, undertaking the most horrific slashing and burning, the prospects of which were not mentioned before the election.  This is not helping the Federal Coalition’s cause at all.  Remember the early nineties when Hewson was odds-on to be elected, until Kennett got into power in Vic and the voters didn’t much like the prospect of his approach being translated to the Federal arena?
      I notice just the first signs of the over-confident smirks on the faces of the Coalition front bench becoming slightly worried frowns.  The more voters look closely at Abbott, and a potential partnership with the likes of Newman, the better the Government’s stocks will become.

    • Richard M says:

      10:29am | 23/08/12

      The trouble is, ZSRenn, that you lot are so used to the flood of blatant right-wing propaganda here that you interpret the occasional contribution that’s vaguely even-handed as being on the left.  Any contribution that actually falls short of shouting hysterical abuse at the PM and the Government, is seen as biased the other way.  Any genuine analysis of Messrs Penberthy and Farr could not possibly reach the conclusion that they are biased towards the Government.  They are frequently fiercely critical of it.

    • eRon says:

      11:09am | 23/08/12

      Bloody hell, Dick!!!
      If you’ve been here long enough to have read a piece by Mirabella (notice how she doesn’t stoop to play the sexism card even though she cops plenty from your rusty comrades) when she posted her last article about six weeks ago, you would have seen many pro-ALP pieces in the meantime.
      But, if you’re that upset and you would like a cuddle…
      There, there.

    • eRon says:

      11:12am | 23/08/12

      Bloody hell, Dick!!!
      If you’ve been here long enough to have read a piece by Mirabella (notice how she doesn’t stoop to play the sexism card even though she cops plenty from your rusty comrades) when she posted her last article about six weeks ago, you would have seen many pro-ALP pieces in the meantime. If you think Malcolm Farr is not an ALP stooge, intent on puffing air into the PM’s sails at every available opportunity, I feel it may well be too late for you to find objectivity.
      But, if you’re that upset and you would like a cuddle…
      There, there.

    • Andy of Sydney says:

      11:29am | 23/08/12

      The Punch is rightwing? Say what? Ahahahahahahhahahaahahahah! Wooo-hahahahhahahahahaha! Ooo-boy.

      It is so ADORABLE that Richard actually believes that.

    • Richard M says:

      11:56am | 23/08/12

      Just for the sake of accuracy, eRon, Mirabella’s last piece on the Punch was on 1 August 2012, exactly 22 days ago.
      Please list the alleged “pro-ALP” pieces on this site since then.  I must have missed them, and wouldn’t want to miss something which is as rare as a white whale.

    • Richard M says:

      11:56am | 23/08/12

      Just for the sake of accuracy, eRon, Mirabella’s last piece on the Punch was on 1 August 2012, exactly 22 days ago.
      Please list the alleged “pro-ALP” pieces on this site since then.  I must have missed them, and wouldn’t want to miss something which is as rare as a white whale.

    • Andy of Sydney says:

      12:28pm | 23/08/12

      Look for articles by Malcolm Fraser, Malcolm Farr, David Marr and Tony Maher, Richard.

      By the way, I still think you are adorable for being so fiery yet so blind.

    • eRon says:

      12:38pm | 23/08/12

      Hasn’t Malcolm Farr submitted anything for three weeks, Richard?
       
      Perhaps you’d be happier at ABC’s Drum (Taxpayer Crikey), reading Barrie Cassidy for some ‘real truths’. Or paying to participate at Crikey, itself.
      Sooking around here about some imagined bias sure isn’t going to earn you any friends, or change whatever it is that you also imagine is wrong with everyone who doesn’t believe the sun rises in the enormous cleft of a certain gargantuan arse.

    • Two cents worth says:

      02:32pm | 23/08/12

      Richard M, I wonder if the $300 billion debt ceiling that Labor has the country stuck in is right wing propaganda, or for that matter, the $1million plus per day of interest to pay it down over the next umpteen years.
      Admittedly they have not (as yet) spent up to that level, but give them a chance, there is still 14 months to Election time.

    • Tubesteak says:

      08:16am | 23/08/12

      Roxon’s and Plibersek’s whinge the other day was laughable.

      Whenever you play the girl-card in order to get favourable treatment or have a whinge that people should play nice because you’re a woman you lose all credibility and don’t deserve respect.

      If you want to be in politics or have some sort of real job then you have to be prepared to play hard and be hard 24/7. There is no room for weakness.

    • Red says:

      10:00am | 23/08/12

      @mayday were you at Parliament yesterday?
      Thank goodness we don’t have an election every time things get a bit controversial. Generally we are well served by governments changing regularly. The really scary thing is when the pendulum swings too far as in Queensland.

    • Tigress says:

      10:06am | 23/08/12

      Couldn’t agree more. Playing the “be nice, I’m a girl” card is pathetic, almost as much as the mock horror of being told to “toughen up princess”. I work in a male dominated industry where you quickly learn to grow a thick skin and give as good as you get - that’s life, get on with it! Oh and one more thing… here’s another one ... suck it up, cupcake!

    • Pudel says:

      01:48pm | 23/08/12

      Red I agree, in QLD they no longer have an effective opposition, this is a real worry.  I will be voting for the coalition, but the QLD election result was scary.  I honestly hope the same does not happen to the ALP in the federal election.  IMHO I believe the earlier the ALP go to the polls the better the result, but I may be proven wrong.  If Rudd is leader the way things look it will be a closer election than if Gillard is still there.  I believe the polls are skewed toward labor, and am suspect of Newspolls results when compared to other polls.
      My opinion and as I mentioned earlier I tend to vote coalition, and may be considered biased in that I have made up my mind re my voting intentions at the next Federal election.
      NB Any spelling or grammatical errors I am blaming on only seeing out of one eye (literally) and relying on an eye that is considered to be low visioned.  so you can consider me biased and one eyed.

    • dan says:

      08:19am | 23/08/12

      *gosh* Abbott political hack writes opinion piece defending Abbott!  Hold the front page!

    • CD says:

      09:28am | 23/08/12

      *gosh* Labor troll attacks opinion piece defending Abbott!
      Hold the front page!

      And just to make his point Dan has to post it twice.

    • Brad Coward says:

      11:16am | 23/08/12

      dan….I don’t know about the front page, but I have a fair idea what you’re holding right now !

      Time to change hands and remove your rose coloured glasses.

    • dan says:

      08:20am | 23/08/12

      *gosh* Abbott political hack writes opinion piece defending Abbott!  Hold the front page!

    • JTZ says:

      08:50am | 23/08/12

      and when Labor hacks do it such as Farr what is your opinion then. Remember even before he was leader of the oppisition Abbott was doing many things that he does now such as living in Aboriginal communities and sitting on the floor with them. It wasnt till Gillard saw how respected and positive responce this got to Abbott did she choose to sit on the floor as well with the elders.

      Also note I guess you were on of the people who said how dare he when he said he would like to wait till his daughters were married before they had sex. Guess what, I am a male and I hope to have children in the future and if I do have a duaghter I would say the same thing as Abbott and ask her to wait till she had sex.

      Yet remember how Abbott got ripperd appart by the likes of Roxon and Pilbs.

    • Richard M says:

      10:45am | 23/08/12

      JTZ, to describe an experienced political journalist and commentator like Malcolm Farr, who simply attempts to provide a balanced view, as a “Labor hack” is a disgrace.  If you can’t see the difference between analysis written by a respected journalist like Farr and mere propaganda penned by a Liberal Party staffer, who is paid to boost her party, then you are a fool.

    • JTZ says:

      10:57am | 23/08/12

      @Richard bahhahahahaaha. Are you kidding my. Well balanced thst has to be a joke. I have never seen one article by Farr that shows Labor in a bad light. Every article he writes starts off as though it will be a balalnced article but then all of a sudden its Abbotts fault.

    • Greg in Chengdu says:

      11:09am | 23/08/12

      Richard do you ever actually read or keep track of Malcolm Farrs stories? He is a Labor hack no question he should minister of party propoganda. Its laughable that you describe Malcolm Farrs work as balanced. Its anything but! every story he writes no matter the topic is critical of Liberal and in defence of Labor. You only have to look at his last story “If the mud doesn’t stick attack another front” Fistrly the Liberals did not bring the inforation of Julias tie at S&G out, it was a S&G mangeent infact they Libs have not even brought this question up in parliament when questioned by media outside parliaent all Liberal P’s have said is that she neeeds to explian herself.
      Malcol Farr is without question a LAbor stooge pretending to be a politics journalist.

    • Alex says:

      08:25am | 23/08/12

      Just because things went alright with you, it doesn’t make Tony Abbott some patron saint of feminism. Sorry, but you’re biased; I want to see an analysis like this come from someone neutral.

      Until then, this girl will continue finding him rather unsavoury.

    • Anne71 says:

      08:25am | 23/08/12

      Speaking of desperate performances, did you see Abbott on the 7:30 Report last night?

    • Pieman says:

      08:26am | 23/08/12

      “I’m not sure this decorum has been reciprocated during his time in opposition!”

      Well -  has it or hasn’t it?  Either back this up or withdraw it.

      Just another standard unsubstantiated Gillard-hating slur from the right.

      And by the way - when Tony Abbot’s response to the “Miaow’ incident was to tell Penny Wong to ‘Toughen up Princess’ he showed his true colours.  Someone who was genuinely ‘pro-equality’would have apologised profusely to Penny Wong - and to all women - for this disgraceful slur. 

      Tony did not. 

      No amount of party-produced obsequious nonsense in The Punch can change that.

    • Zaan says:

      09:12am | 23/08/12

      Toughen up Princess, he was right if you can’t take it get out. Remember when a Labor politician did the same thing, Ms Plibersek and Ms Wong said it was just politics.
      No need for unsubstantial slurs, plenty of proven material to work with.
      The PM is an embarrassment, and definitely not a role model for young women, unless it’s to sleep and backstab your way to power.
      Double standards anyone!

    • JTZ says:

      09:58am | 23/08/12

      @Pieman the same responce was given by labor after a member (who did not apologise) did a miow when Julia Bishop was speaking. So I guess it is ok for the Left to do it but the right not to. Or how about how Labor defended the personal attack on liberals the cried poor when the same was given back to them. Remember how they attack Mirabella over a inheritance she had recieved and the reply from labor that is was fair play and she should toughen up but as soon as the same occured it is not allowed.

    • TimB says:

      11:08am | 23/08/12

      ‘And by the way - when Tony Abbot’s response to the “Miaow’ incident was to tell Penny Wong to ‘Toughen up Princess’ he showed his true colours.  Someone who was genuinely ‘pro-equality’would have apologised profusely to Penny Wong - and to all women - for this disgraceful slur.  ‘

      Why? Would he have apologised to a male? I’d be willing to bet Abbott’s response to Wong would have been much the same had the complainer beeing a man. That’s equality.

      Indeed *you* appear to be the one advocating for women to be treated differently, demanding that Abbott apologise to them all.

    • JoniM says:

      12:04pm | 23/08/12

      @ Pieman

      Grow up !
      Wong, Roxon, Plibersek and Gillard are hardened fighters and tougher than most males in the Parliament. They are all major ALP attack dogs ! As we have seen this week ! The ALP men can’t cut it with them ( apart from ALBO) when it comes to putting on a blue !
      For these princesses to now bung on the faux outrage with Tony Abbott’s attitude around “capable” women , is nothing but a crock of steaming political smear of the first order !

    • Kirianne says:

      08:34am | 23/08/12

      Great article. Nicola, Tanya, Penny - are these not the same women who struggled to deal with their male boss in Kevin Rudd? We are not stupid - we can see through this ALP smear campaign a mile away….

    • Richard M says:

      09:46am | 23/08/12

      An “ALP smear campaign”!!  Perleeeeease!  If there was an Olympic event for colossal, bare-faced hypocrisy, you righties would be the gold medalists for sure.

    • Fred says:

      08:35am | 23/08/12

      I always find it amusing in the workplace (or politics) watching women behave like men in order to succeed in a ‘mans world’ (and i believe this is often forced upon women in order for them to advance their careers, but many women can play the game perfectly and be a complete mongrel - the alpha female). But then when it suits them, most usually when they are being challenged hard, they play the damsel in distress card to manipulate the situation in their favour. The veteran alpha female gets away with this tactic 9 times out of 10 when it suits. If you decide to behave like a man in order to advance your career, be prepared to be treated like one.

    • Zaan says:

      09:01am | 23/08/12

      Totally agree Fred, these quota women give the genuine hard working women a bad name.

    • Gladys says:

      08:44am | 23/08/12

      About time. If Abbott loses the mnext election it will be because the Liberal Party has ceded this issue on the basis that Labor has always done better.

      I watched in Qld as the LNP refused to enter into the debate over the number of women in parliament who would lose their seats to men because it was a statistical fact.

      What they didn’t realise was the quota had bred a mediocre set of parliamentarians who deserved to lose their seats. The labor women in parliament of note were all women who’d gone in before the 35% quota. The new ones were lazy time servers.

      Fortunately, the electorate could see that. They did lose their seats and some very impressive newbies were brought in.

      If women decide not to vote for Abbott because labor controls this debate, it will be a real shame. Glove up, Loughnane.

    • True Blue Ozzie says:

      08:51am | 23/08/12

      Firs it was Labor saying Gillard was criticized because she was a woman, that did’nt improve their polling, so now there trying to attack Abbott as not being able to work with women! What a load of trash from Labor in a desperate bid to gain a few more polling numbers, just do your job Labor, forget this sexist rubbish it dosent work with we voters! You were voted in to work hard for the Australian people, not constantly slandering each other.

    • Sid says:

      09:32am | 23/08/12

      LMFAO

      “But I don’t want to give you the wrong impression. He is not pro-women. He is pro-equality and pro-merit.”

      Bet you wouldn’t say that if he had all male staff.

    • andye says:

      09:49am | 23/08/12

      This whole story is a worthless beat up, but so is most of the stuff about Gillard.

      What it does show is that some people can dish it but can’t take it. Playing loose with the facts, jumping on any bit of “evidence” at all, maligning character - the conservatives have been playing this game hard for a whole now and it is a bit soft to be whining about the left joining in.

    • wampy says:

      09:50am | 23/08/12

      I don’t think Mr Abbott has a problem with women, but he does have a problem with anyone who disagrees with him. He also has a problem dealing with tough questions becoming mute rather than giving an honest answer.  His biggest problem is the tactics he chose after losing the last election - constant negativity and hounding of the government to the detriment of Australia. This government is doing a good job but it is being overshadowed by the howls of protest flooding our media.

    • wampy says:

      09:51am | 23/08/12

      I don’t think Mr Abbott has a problem with women, but he does have a problem with anyone who disagrees with him. He also has a problem dealing with tough questions becoming mute rather than giving an honest answer.  His biggest problem is the tactics he chose after losing the last election - constant negativity and hounding of the government to the detriment of Australia. This government is doing a good job but it is being overshadowed by the howls of protest flooding our media.

    • Sandra says:

      09:55am | 23/08/12

      Let’s take an opinion piece from the that bastion of integrity The Telegraph and re-post it on Punch.
      I’m gonna believe everything this delicate flower says.
      This piece is just political propaganda commissioned because Abbott is truly worried about the female vote. Not surprised Ltd. News paid this obvious political shill to produce it. The heat is rising on Abbott as his lies continue to be exposed.

      For a truer reflection of Abbott’s feelings about women, consider this.
      “During the RU486 debate in federal parliament, in which Abbott fought tooth and nail to hold on to his ministerial veto over a drug that is on the World Health Organisation’s list of “essential medicines,” Abbott shouted:

      “Mr Speaker, we have a bizarre double standard in this country where someone who kills a pregnant woman’s baby is guilty of murder, but a woman aborts an unborn baby is simply exercising choice.””

      Abbott believes that “Christians in politics” do not have to “sell out their principles in order to survive”. If Abbott is elected, he will attempt to control women, even in their most private and vulnerable times.

    • Zaan says:

      01:06pm | 23/08/12

      Wow, desperate much, talk about grasping at straws.

    • Luke says:

      09:57am | 23/08/12

      Abbott doesn’t care about gender, unless it’s a same gender couple who happen to be in love and want to get married.

      “Abbott is all about equality and merit based appointments”, but in 18years has never ever found an appropriately skilled man to take on a senior advisors role… Was he listening to his all female team when they all called for him to reject his religious opposition to RU486… instead of letting him dither over “women’s issues”? I think it was a man - John Howard - that made him change his mind.

    • Bob says:

      09:58am | 23/08/12

      Tell me Kate , did Tony Abbott write this piece for you or did he just give you a rough outline on what to write ?

      Funny how one day there is talk about him and women and the next day we have this glowing piece about Saint Tony. Maybe a lot of the comments here were also written by Tony Abbott Staffers as i can not believe that there is this many people in the country that think he is great.

      Sorry Amanda this piece has “written by the Liberal party” all over it, and not all of us are mindless sheep.

    • cynic says:

      10:08am | 23/08/12

      Labor’s female mafia attacks on abbott are really low rent stuff. They do it to reaffirm the left female vote that abbott hates women, despite remaining married to the same woman for years, who is no shrinking violet and having great daughters. No wonder the labor female mafia have little time for such low values. Pity for the likes of wong & co is, every time they play this card they make themselevs look smaller in most of us average punter eyes. This nasty personsl attack is now well past its use by date but tanya cannot help herself and digs her own political grave. If reading this tanya, move on, please, as most of us are sick of it.

    • TedP says:

      10:27am | 23/08/12

      Sir Humphrey Appleby: “I’m not anti-feminist! I love women. Some of my best friends are women. Uh… my wife, indeed.”

    • Sizzle Chest says:

      10:43am | 23/08/12

      Whoa ! The Labor fans sure are frothing at the mouth today. Gillard not doing to well or something ?

    • Sizzle Chest says:

      10:56am | 23/08/12

      What about Gillard’s problem with men ? You know, married ones with children…..

    • Andy of Sydney says:

      11:38am | 23/08/12

      She doesn’t have a problem with them, Sizzle. She loves them intensely. That is why she is all over them. Remember Emerson?

      She is that way with Abbott because he rejected her. A woman scorned and all that.

    • Andy of Sydney says:

      11:39am | 23/08/12

      She doesn’t have a problem with them, Sizzle. She loves them intensely. That is why she is all over them. Remember Emerson and Wilson?

      She is that way with Abbott because he rejected her. A woman scorned and all that.

    • Andy of Sydney says:

      11:39am | 23/08/12

      She doesn’t have a problem with them, Sizzle. She loves them intensely. That is why she is all over them. Remember Emerson and Wilson?

      She is that way with Abbott because he rejected her. A woman scorned and all that.

    • Sizzle Chest says:

      12:24pm | 23/08/12

      That’s what I was referring to, Andy. Apparently Bruce Wilson was married with kids as well.
      Now she’s doing to Australia what she did to those families.

    • Andy of Sydney says:

      12:54pm | 23/08/12

      Ah. I thought you were referring to gillard’s attacks on “sexist” Abbott who has a family and grown up children, Sizzle.

      And yes, she’s doing to Australia what she had done to those families. Completely f-ed them over.

      PS. Apologies for the multiple posts. The browser glitched when I was trying to submit the post and I thought I had caught it in time for a correction.

    • Sizzle Chest says:

      01:40pm | 23/08/12

      @ Andy
      Well in her younger days she referred to wives as being prostitutes, so it’s hardly any wonder she had no qualms about breaking up marriages. Pity she didn’t at least consider the kids…..
      Still, what Julia wants, Julia gets, eh ?

    • Willie says:

      01:52pm | 23/08/12

      Who cares who she slept with. Its none of her business that her partner was married.
      I actually think this shows gillard in a good light. Usually she comes across as an asexual robot developed in a secret Chinese lab to destroy democracy in Australia and clear the way for a glorious people’s revolution.  This proves she is a real person. One who could have been a bit of a fox in her day.
      Hang on im off to google some bikini shots.

    • Zaan says:

      02:24pm | 23/08/12

      Willie, seen photos, no she wasn’t. My 17 year old daughter can’t understand what these married men see in her, reckons she must be good in bed,

    • Andy of Sydney says:

      02:32pm | 23/08/12

      Of course, Sizzle. But isn’t that the basic premise of the “progressives”? You know, the lazy lot who doesn’t want to get off their bum to earn things but are more than willing and able to tell others who have earned stuff what to do with their earned stuff? The same lot who vilify others for enjoying their earned stuff and pillory them for earning stuff?

      What they want, they get, or you are a bunch of selfish, hateful bullies.

    • Sancho says:

      11:01am | 23/08/12

      I’m perfectly willing to believe that Tony Abbot treats female colleagues with dignity and respect, and appoints on merit and not gender.

      And when Tony Abbott was health minister, he tried to ban birth control.

      As leader of the opposition, he consults George Pell for advice on governance.

      It would be better for Australian women if Abbott were an outright misogynist, because his mix of actions suggests that if he becomes PM, he will attack the rights and autonomy of women not because he hates them, but because he believes he has a duty to do as the Pope says.

    • simonfromlakemba says:

      11:10am | 23/08/12

      Abbott doesn’t have a problem with women, he has a problem with women in the modern world as his world in the 1950s.

      The thing with Abbott is, he doesn’t value anyone’s opinion unless it suits his own.

    • Freeman says:

      11:49am | 23/08/12

      Ok, so now you’ve made the accusation (or slur). now go about making an argument to support it.

    • simonfromlakemba says:

      12:50pm | 23/08/12

      hahaha slur? oh Freeman you are a class act.

      RU486, Housewife remark etc

    • Freeman says:

      02:54pm | 23/08/12

      I’m dissapointed Simon. Do you understand what it means to make a supporting argument?

      Simply pointing out Abbott’s position on RU486 (and there were MANY Labor and Liberal MPs who agreed with him ) or the fact that he inferred women may be housewives that iron clothes (perhaps you argue this no longer happens?)  falls well short of supporting your claim that Abbott wants women back in the 50’s or that he doesn’t value others opinions.

    • Mack says:

      04:34pm | 23/08/12

      Ah, Lakemba. That progressive suburb where the men still live in the CE 600s and the women wear bed sheets ‘because they want to’.  THEY certainly don’t believe in birth control either - $5,000 Baby Bonus, $10,000 Baby Bonus, $15,000 Baby Bonus $20,000 Baby Bonus, $25,000 Baby Bonus, $30,000 Baby Bonus, $35,000 Baby Bonus, $40,000 Baby Bonus, $45,000 Baby Bonus, $50,000 Baby Bonus…...and dad’s on welfare because he’s got a bad back.

    • PhoenixGirl says:

      11:22am | 23/08/12

      To the editors of the punch:

      Now it is well known that you have banned many regular contributors from the punch. The issue here is that according to your community agreement, this statement by your regular Acrotel

      ”  acotrel says:
        07:01am | 23/08/12
        Some of Abbott’s attitudes are extremely reminiscent of his first political mentor, Mr B.A.Santamaria.  Women should be kept barefoot and pregnant ?”

      (aside from being extremely defamatory plus baseless slander) would be in breach of the following community agreement points.

      2. Keep it clean. Anything indecent, vulgar, sexually explicit, blasphemous, racist, generally inappropriate, defamatory, demonstrably wrong or plain bad is not allowed on the site and will be blocked or removed.

      5. Be nice. If you voice an opinion it should be constructive, not vindictive or malicious.

      7. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Do not use the site to defame individuals or businesses. You can make comments but you must do it with respect for others and the laws of defamation.

      Now considering you have cited these rules to ban other regular posters without warning, I expect that we will see the same level playing field of heavy handedness applied in this case.

      Looking forward to your action.

    • Scotchfinger says:

      11:37am | 23/08/12

      how is ‘barefoot and pregnant’ indecent, vulgar or sexually explicit? Pregnancy is a natural process, Phoenix Girl. Now hurry, you’ll be late for your Year 8 biology class! No more wagging!

    • Inky says:

      11:43am | 23/08/12

      “Many”? Only one I’ve heard of is Erick… 

      And if that’s a violation of #7, so is every attack on Julia ever. You might as well ban everyone on here, almost.

      I’d tell you to pull your head out of…  well, you know, but that’s inviolation of #2, #5 and #7 as well.

    • fml says:

      12:09pm | 23/08/12

      Ummm, I am pretty sure I have seen a few untoward comments coming from you PhoenixGirl.

      Plus I am pretty sure if you were called up on any of those you would begin to rationalise it’s use.

    • Huonian says:

      11:37am | 23/08/12

      Why has it become the practice for people who disagree with a political leader to then have to hate and demonise them ?  Don’t the highly personalised attacks on Julia Gillard or Tony Abbott, depending on which side of politics you live in, merely say more about the attacker than the intended target?

      By all means, disagree with Tony Abbott.  Or with Julia Gillard.  But please, bloggers, spare us all the venom and hate. 

      Many of Tony Abbott’s inner circle have been working for him for a very long time, despite politics being an environment where a lot of people come and go in quick succession.  That usually means they regard him as a very good boss.  Why does anyone have a problem with that?

    • Sancho says:

      11:53am | 23/08/12

      A lot of commenters appear to believe that Tony Abbott’s disdain for women is myth concocted to attack him.

      As they say in the classics, LOL no.  Let’s let the man speak for himself:

      “The problem with the Australian practice of abortion is that an objectively grave matter has been reduced to a question of the mother’s convenience.”

      “If half the effort were put into discouraging teenage promiscuity as goes into preventing teenage speeding, there might be fewer abortions, fewer traumatised young women and fewer dysfunctional families.”

      ”I think there does need to be give and take on both sides, and this idea that sex is kind of a woman’s right to absolutely withhold, just as the idea that sex is a man’s right to demand I think they are both they both need to be moderated, so to speak”

      “I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons”

      “What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing is that if they get it done commercially it’s going to go up in price and their own power bills when they switch the iron on are going to go up, every year….”

      Right.  Tony Abbott hires women, so we ignore that he’s repeatedly indicated that he believes they’re housekeeping sex robots who are inferior to men and can’t be trusted with freedom because they’re slatterns who’ll just get knocked up and have abortions all year round.

      Nice to know he respects female colleagues, though.

    • Freeman says:

      12:39pm | 23/08/12

      It may be politically incorrect to suggest men and women are different but it is correct in every other sense. when you rely on making a massive exaggeration to make a point you don’t really make a point at all.

    • Sancho says:

      02:02pm | 23/08/12

      Of course men and women are different.  If you have to pretend that’s all Abbott meant by that sentence, you don’t really make a point at all.

      I’d like to hear his list of areas women can’t match men in.  For some reason I suspect it goes far beyond combat soldiery and only ends at the kitchen door.

    • Ben C says:

      02:16pm | 23/08/12

      Let’s go through those statements one by one, shall we?

      “The problem with the Australian practice of abortion is that an objectively grave matter has been reduced to a question of the mother’s convenience.”

      The idea that abortion should only be a woman’s choice disregards the fact that it takes two to create this situation. In some cases, yes it should just be the expectant mother’s choice - like rape, or health concerns with the pregnancy. Otherwise, why should the male not be asked for his view, and make a decision on a considered approach?

      “If half the effort were put into discouraging teenage promiscuity as goes into preventing teenage speeding, there might be fewer abortions, fewer traumatised young women and fewer dysfunctional families.”

      Nothing wrong with this statement, can’t pick out what is sexist about this remark. Merely stating the fact that if there was more education targetted at all teenagers around sex and doing it safely, then it would reduce the rate of unwanted pregnancies, and the subsequent emotional trauma that girls may experience.

      ”I think there does need to be give and take on both sides, and this idea that sex is kind of a woman’s right to absolutely withhold, just as the idea that sex is a man’s right to demand I think they are both they both need to be moderated, so to speak”

      Culpability is placed on both parties - what’s wrong with that?

      “I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons”

      Construction, forestry, mining, sport - just to name a few. Yes, there are women involved in all of these, but whether or not they will ever be the equal of men in these areas is yet to be seen. It probably won’t happen in Tony’s lifetime, so he makes a valid point.

      “What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing is that if they get it done commercially it’s going to go up in price and their own power bills when they switch the iron on are going to go up, every year….”

      Very clumsy statement, did not need to be made.

    • Freeman says:

      03:12pm | 23/08/12

      Sancho, I haven’t pretended to represent abbott’s views.

      Your statements;

      *Abbott holds women is disdain
      *Abbott thinks women are inferior
      *Abbott thinks women can’t be trusted with personal freedom.

      you then offer up some quotes that are, when compared to your claims, fairly innocuous.

    • Achmed says:

      12:03pm | 23/08/12

      and of course there is no bias in the resume

    • Wilma J Craig says:

      12:04pm | 23/08/12

      OK! So Tony Abbott has “over the past 18 years only employed women”.
      Great, so long as he employed them on the basis of Merit, Experience & Qualifications & not simply because they are women.
      It is no wonder his attacks on Gillard are always so vitriolic for let’s face it when it comes to vitriol, sheer bitchiness & nastiness we women, even when little girls in school, are the champions at it.

    • NikRaf says:

      12:14pm | 23/08/12

      the reality is you have only pointed out one side the one you had seen as being a Employee of a politician

    • Shane From Melbourne says:

      12:15pm | 23/08/12

      Anyone who can suck up to middle class mothers by betraying Liberal Party values and imposing a 3 Billion dollar tax upon business clearly doesn’t have a women problem…...

    • Achmed says:

      03:42pm | 23/08/12

      that would be the 2% Maternity Tax on businesses? Thats the Tax that will have no effect on cost of living, according to Abbott and the Liberal faithful.
      That would the tax he said he would introduce after stating that under a Liberal Govt there would be no new taxes.

    • Anjuli says:

      12:24pm | 23/08/12

      I agree with you Kate, my husband is in the same family type situation as Tony Abbott ,when the girls were home he was surrounded by females . He would be the first to promote any female worthy of the promotion ,when my husband was working both sexes thought him to be fair but a hard task master.As for the media not promoting this it makes good copy to show him as the opposite.

    • the world won't listen says:

      01:17pm | 23/08/12

      Nice article Kate.

      Important point to make.

      Tony is a respectful boss (as I understand it), with long term staff and loyalty amongst his former staff. Not common with many bosses particularly those in politics.

    • Andy of Sydney says:

      02:06pm | 23/08/12

      Isn’t it funny, TWWL, that Abbott has long term staff and the loyalty of his staff is such that even former staff members stand up for him when they see him wrongfully attacked, and yet he is the one with people problems? Yet KRudd, who has a revolving door for his office because of the absurd staff turnover, is considered to be a big cuddly kid?

      Ahh well, when all you have is hate and bile as the “progressives” do, you will twist everything around so that the simple greeting of “G’day!” will be constituted as being aggressive, sexist and/or hateful. And believe it, too.

    • Achmed says:

      01:19pm | 23/08/12

      Abbott quote:  “I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons”

      “What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing is that if they get it done commercially it’s going to go up in price and their own power bills when they switch the iron on are going to go up, every year….”

      yep a real ladies man so long as they know their place….....

    • Achmed says:

      01:21pm | 23/08/12

      ” I think there does need to be give and take on both sides, and this idea that sex is kind of a woman’s right to absolutely withhold, just as the idea that sex is a man’s right to demand I think they are both they both need to be moderated, so to speak”  Take aguess who said this….

    • William says:

      01:33pm | 23/08/12

      Abbott has no problem with women working for him. He just can’t handle working for them.

    • Ron Vincent says:

      03:40pm | 23/08/12

      Geez William, what are you saying, you poor little sick puppy?. Be honest, every time Tony Abbott hits a raw nerve out come the Labor attack dogs. Can’t wait to see your and other Labor diehards faces once the truth finally comes out about our PM’s and other union officials are exposed for what they are. Current and dumped members of parliament will run for cover once they are out of office next year and Tony Abbott holds a Royal Commission into their activities. Silly me, there wont be any money left in the bank. Any taxes we can raise will probably only be enough to pay our interest bills. We will still hear the winging Labor women telling us that Tony just wants to get his own back, because why? “HE TOLD THE TRUTH”

    • Nigel says:

      04:00pm | 23/08/12

      Your comment is so narrow minded.  When you work, you work WITH people, not necessarily obssessing with who is working for who.

    • William says:

      07:31pm | 23/08/12

      Try telling that to Abbott, Nigel.

    • Polly says:

      03:11pm | 23/08/12

      Many women like and admire Tony Abbott.

      Roxon and Plibersek are not as charitable as they believe themselves to be. Anna Burke, deputy speaker, is worse than Slipper. Neither of them hold a candle to Harry Jenkins who had to toe the Labor party line or else!
      Miss Gillard, Ms Roxon and Ms Plibersek have set a bad example for women. Gillard and Roxon ex-lawyers with a few questions to be answered about their past actions and integrity.  Everyone knows that lawyers are trained to spin and stretch the truth, denigrate anyone who may adversely affect an outcome they desire and use every sly trick they can muster to win. They are not interested in Truth and Honesty and never will be.

      Tony Abbott, a gentleman and a scholar, has far more integrity than Gillard, Roxon and the rest of the Labor Party.

    • mikem says:

      03:15pm | 23/08/12

      Its the Liberal Party that has a problem with women, as demonstrated by the fact that they have never had a woman leader at either Federal or State level.  Its not just a gender issue though.  Have a look at the leaders historically and you will find they are nearly all of Anglo Saxon background, from the city and private school educated.  That is where the real power base is and they still haven’t accepted that the others might be able to do the job.

    • the moor says:

      03:26pm | 23/08/12

      Its more that he is unable to be anything other than nasty to people whose views don’t agree with his own.  Not exactly a positive leadership quality.

    • PhoenixGirl says:

      03:29pm | 23/08/12

      To the punch editors:

      I am not in the slightest bit surprised, as Acotrel clearly shares your political standpoint it has been clearly demonstrated that you cannot apply the same standards to people whose views you don’t agree with.

      Nothing more than a political mouthpiece for the left, nothing more, nothing less!

      As for FML, nice attempt at baseless slander, I need not discredit you since you seem to do that perfectly well yourself. Low, disgusting and quite pathetic really. Oh and considering you are a Labor member I should accuse you of sexism too?

    • freethrow says:

      05:48pm | 23/08/12

      reeeow!

    • Brad says:

      05:10pm | 23/08/12

      Thank you Kate. At last, the truth.

    • vox says:

      05:37pm | 23/08/12

      Phoenix Girl, you do know that you are supporting a bloke who says that the right of men to demand sex, (they can’t do it legally now), should be looked at, and the right of women to refuse to have sex, (they can do that legally now), should also be reviewed, don’t you.
      But that wont affect you, will it.

 

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