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On Gillard's 'Jack the Ripper' card

By Ben-Peter Terpstra - posted Friday, 19 October 2012


Julia Gillard's playing the gender card? So what's new? On education, "Ms Gillard said Mr Abbott would be like 'Jack the Ripper . . . wielding his knife,'" (The Australian, August 21, 2012). Therefore, I'd advise broadcaster Alan Jones to shun our prime minister. She's out of control, according to the love media's updated moral guidelines.

As many know, Jack the Ripper (aka London's "Whitechapel Murderer") is associated with the dreadful mutilation and sexual abuse of poor women. But Gillard's emotive words weren't viewed as controversial in ABC circles. For Abbott is always the issue. For he is the Labor-first media's "mad monk" target.

There's a long, quaint history here. In 2003, the former opposition foreign affairs spokesman, Kevin Rudd, dismissed positive Coalition results and therefore voters when he asserted: "Frankly, Jack the Ripper could have got a bounce out of the polls if you had two sets of presidential visits in this town over 48 hours."

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Both references to the Victorian-period sex monster were in poor taste. But imagine if Abbott likened Gillard to Mary Ann Cotton, one of Britain's worst serial killers. I suspect "our" ABC would be "outraged" along with their ideological cousins over at Fairfax. That is to say, Gillard, the hear-me-roar feminist, is being shielded by media elites.

Are we concerned about angry upper-middleclass feminists, with bullying tendencies too? Or as one prominent poster on the Labor minister Tanya Plibersek's office wall shouted: "Tony Abbott: Note to ladies: Make me a sandwich." And another: "Tony Abbott: I'm threatened by boats and gays. Gays on boats are my worst nightmare."

The fact that Tony Abbott loves his self-identified lesbian sister or even the reality that his wife, Margie, works outside the home contradicts Labor's hateful rhetoric. Still, if you can get away with comparing your opponent to Jack the Ripper and forcing a carbon dioxide tax on the Australian people, truth isn't your key priority.

Following Julia Gillard's lead, some ALP stars, are more than happy to use anti-conservative rhetoric while waving their victim cards. Or as Labor's JennyMacklin also sniffed, without evidence, in a Radio 3AW interview, "Yes I do think he [Tony Abbott] is a misogynist." For playing the distressed lady is a media-approved art form.

And, other questions remain unanswered. For critical thinkers, at least, have the right to know: Where was anti-misogynist Gillard's outrage when the former opposition leader, Mark Latham, paintedJanet Albrechtsen as a "skanky ho who will die in a ditch to defend the Liberal Party"? And, what does this say about her party's culture?

Another complaint, "Abbott is sexist," is also laughable in light of Bob Hawke's reputation as a womaniser. Indeed, in 1981, Labor-first media elites cunningly buried a story concerning the former MP's sexist "F*** Mrs Gandhi"joke, delivered in a mocking Indian accent to hundreds of dinner guests, because he was their man.

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As Alan Ramsey reminds us: "Yet, although the function was taped and reporters were present, the Hawke 'joke' never made it into the press. Not a word. Four weeks later, the Indian high commissioner complained in writing to [Labor's] Hayden and called to see him in Canberra."

Think of Rudd's legacy too. No suffragette, Kevin 07 offered a public relations-approved apology, after reducing one 20-something air force staffer to tears because she couldn't provide the right meal. Or as his justificationwent: "It didn't last very long, and if anyone was offended by that, including the attendant concerned, of course I apologise."

As well, lord major Clover Moore is "the Queen of Sydney grog," according to the Labor feminist Paul Keating; Liberal Sophie Mirabella's child "will be turned into a demon by evil thoughts," according to Labor's now-apologetic Belinda Neal and women's private parts are much like "mussell (sic) removed from its shell,"  according to the ALP-protected Peter Slipper.

All told, it's sad to see our PM painting Abbott as some Jack the Ripper figure and calling him a misogynist. Hypocritical and illogical, in fact: illogical, because Abbott clearly loves the women in his life and hypocritical because no party does sexism like the Australian Labor Party, from Latham to Hawke. It's why Jones should shun Gillard.

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About the Author

Ben-Peter Terpstra has provided commentary for The Daily Caller (Washington D.C.), NewsReal Blog (Los Angeles), Quadrant (Sydney), and Menzies House (Adelaide).

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