I would not normally ask you to sit and watch a 15 minute video of a political speech, but this one is an absolute diamond.
It’s Aussie PM Julia Gillard taking apart her opposite number Tony Abbott. He had proposed a motion of no confidence in the Parliament’s Speaker over inappropriate sexist text messages.
There had been some falling out between Speaker Slipper and Abbott following Slipper’s appointment, although they had been close before then. Abbott had attended Slipper’s wedding in 2006. Slipper’s acceptance of the role of speaker had in effect got Gillard’s coalition out of a hole. But more on that later.
Gillard rather splendidly eviscerated Abbott over a whole load of sexist things that he had said during his career, including recently when he’d stood next to a “Ditch the Witch” placard depicting her. While she was at it, she had a go at DJ Alan Jones for suggesting her elderly father had died of shame at her being PM. This he had done at an event attended by several senior members of the opposition.
She had loads of evidence to back up her case and she relentlessly her point. It was a masterful display. I don’t know Tony Abbott, but if half of the things she said were true, then he’s not shown himself to be in favour of women’s equality, shall we say.
She won the battle as well. The motion failed by just one vote. However the Speaker decided later yesterday to resign anyway. An MP from Gillard’s party has been elected to replace him – but this means that her Coalition is even more precariously balanced.
Watch the whole of Gillard’s speech here.