Margie Abbott is not the first political leader’s wife to rush to the defence of a husband under pressure.
The most spectacular example I can recall was in 1968 when prime minister John Gorton faced criticism from one of his own Liberal MPs, Edward St. John, for visiting the US embassy late at night accompanied by a young female journalist.
Bettina Gorton used poetry to retaliate savagely against St. John.
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What’s it really take to make the Forbes list of the world’s 100 most powerful women? All work and no play? Tonnes of money to pay for a nanny if you dare to want a hugely successful career and children?
The Forbes list of powerful women has been running for six years but it has a long way to go before it serves as inspiration for young women looking to go to the very top and have a life – especially one that includes having children.
Yes, Gail Kelly - Westpac CEO and mother of four – is ranked at number eight but scroll down the full “top 25” list and you’ll find that more than half of the power women are over 40 years of age and childless. Oprah is there ranked number three, German Chancellor Angela Merkel too ranked at number four, Ellen DeGeneres is number ten, US Supreme Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor is number 19 and the list goes on.
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Before indulging in a teeny-weeny bit of sympathy for celebrities whose private lives are flayed open for the public to feast on, spare a thought for what global leaders and their spouses have to endure.
If it’s not the Italian stallion, Silvio Berlusconi having flings with escorts, or holding frivolous parties, prompting calls he should be put out to pasture (from everyone and everywhere but his actual Italian constituents), or Vladamir Putin rising out the water, James Bond-esque, in budgie smugglers and with a well-toned body that defies his age, making world headlines, then it’s what the partners of these leaders are wearing.
In fact, when it comes to powerful women and/or the female spouses of Presidents and Prime Ministers, the fashion police are criminally biased.
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