A commenter yesterday asked me if I had the transcript of Julie Bishop’s “1969 Keating” question from yesterday’s Question Time. In lieu of the fact that today’s QT was mostly pointless – the Opposition moved a censure motion against Gillard that the ALP had been expecting all last week, and also due to the fact I was in a meeting for most of it, today’s edition will just have the Hansard transcript of the Julie/Julia exchange in full.
The only way the Hansard can be improved is though the photo on the front page of today’s SMH which accompanied Annabel Crabb’s excellent sketch on the proceedings:
Women in the Workplace
Ms JULIE BISHOP (3.22 pm)—My question is to the Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, the Minister for Education and the Minister for Social Inclusion. I refer to the minister’s attack on the Liberal Party’s support for working women and her reference back to the Menzies era. I ask whether the minister is aware of the statement of former Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating, who said in this House of the then coalition government:
In the last couple of years the government—as in coalition—has boasted about the increasing number of women in the workforce. Rather than something to be proud of, I feel that this is something of which we should be ashamed.
Doesn’t this demonstrate, Minister, that even 39 years ago the coalition—
Honourable members interjecting—
[At this point the Government MPs are almost rolling in the aisles – does Bishop really believe what someone said 39 years ago is relevant today?]
The SPEAKER—Order! Those on my right will come to order. The House will come to order. The member for Wakefield will leave the chamber under
94(a) for one hour.
Ms Roxon interjecting—
Mr Pyne—You raised Menzies, you idiot.
Ms Roxon interjecting—
[Pyne actually called this out a few times, Hansard dignified it with only one entry – but he thought he was reaching new heights of Oscar Wildean type wit]
The SPEAKER—The Minister for Health and Ageing will cease interjecting. The member for Sturt will withdraw.
Mr Pyne—I withdraw, Mr Speaker.
Mr Sidebottom interjecting—
The SPEAKER—The member for Braddon is again not assisting.
Ms JULIE BISHOP—I was at the point where I quoted former Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating when he said:
In the last couple of years the government has boasted about the increasing number of women in the workforce. Rather than something to be proud of, I feel that this is something of which we should be ashamed.
Doesn’t this demonstrate that even 39 years ago the coalition was way ahead of Labor’s thinking when it came to choice for women?
[Yes she does think it is relevant… oh dear… pity the question isn’t in order because it is asking about Coalition policy – which you can’t do – and Coalition policy from 1969, which probably stretches the bounds of pointlessness to an amount much more than they could conceivably bear]
Honourable members interjecting—
[the Honourable members were on the Government side yelling for it to be called in order!]
The SPEAKER—Order! The House will come to order. Before giving the call to the Deputy Prime Minister, and if the House would settle down, this question time is not one of the greatest moments for the House. If the House would just calm down, that was an example of a question where, if we were to strictly apply the standing orders, I would be in the position to rule it out. But I will allow it.
[Harry is being rather cruel here. A kinder speaker would have ruled it out of order… instead he throws Julie to the wolf pack]
Ms GILLARD—I genuinely thank the Deputy Leader of the Opposition for her question. This year I was exposed on television as not smarter than a fifth
grader, it is true, but the Deputy Leader of the Opposition is taking me back to when I was not even in fifth grade. And, no, I have to confess that when I was in Mitcham Primary School they were not playing maiden speeches, first speeches, in the House of Representatives. Actually, looking back on it, I am not sure that we had a TV in the classroom. I think we had a radio, but we did not have a TV, so long ago it is that the Deputy Leader of the Opposition is referring to.
[Nice mention of her bit on Rove’s show – good chance of getting a snippet of it on the TV later. You would think Bishop realises she is about to be killed here…]
Ms Julie Bishop—Mr Speaker, on a point of order: if the Deputy Prime Minister wishes to disown Labor thinking she should say so. She has not answered the question.
[Oh no, she doesn’t]
The SPEAKER—The Deputy Leader of the Opposition has asked her question.
Ms GILLARD—I believe that statement was made in 1969. Apparently they have gone this strange because I used the word ‘Menzies’ when I was reading the letter from the principal. Can I say to the Deputy Leader of the Opposition that, whether or not they realise it over there, life has moved on. Mr Keating has moved on and has made public statements to that effect. The nation has moved on. Policy has moved on.
The only people who, for almost 40 years now have obviously been out circling in the wilderness, are not understanding that things have moved on are those people in front of me—the members of the Liberal Party. This question is reminiscent of the old sitcoms we used to see about fighters from World War II who did not realise that the war was over.
Ms Julie Bishop—Mr Speaker, on a point of order: as the minister has difficulty answering this question, I seek leave to table the Hansard where Mr Keating said that this was something of which we should be ashamed.
[Yes, ignoring the fact that Gillard has said Keating, the ALP and Gillard herself no longer agree with the views of 1969 on this issue, Bishop thinks Julia is dodging the question! And to top it off she asks to table in Hansard a speech already in Hansard… oh the political genius]
Leave not granted.
Ms GILLARD—We do have the Hansard, so the Deputy Leader of the Opposition does not need to table the extract from it. Can I say to the Deputy Leader if the Opposition that while she and the Liberal Party might be stuck thinking about 1969 we as a government are dealing with the challenges of the modern age.
The problem for the Liberal Party is that in this modern age, a modern age where people believe that women are equal and extend them the same opportunities, the Liberal Party is stuck in the past. Its website was stuck in the past until raised in question time. Of course you can change a website; what you cannot change is the dinosaur attitudes we are seeing displayed by the Liberal Party today. They are stuck in the past, unable to move into the future and unable to embrace the future. They are stuck in the past on the role of women, stuck in the past on the question of climate change and stuck in the past in the embrace of Work Choices. This has been an embarrassment for the Liberal Party.
I woke up this morning, read the newspaper and thought that it was pretty bad that the Liberal Party did not give a fair share of questions to women. Now I have come to question time and watched them gag women speaking. However, having seen this performance from the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, maybe the deputy leader is better off without questions.
[And with that Question Time ended, and Julie Bishop, no doubt drawing on every ounce of self denial that has seen her rise to the position she holds today, thought she left the winner]