We’re here today because Australian women need a voice, an authentic voice, a voice that can be trusted, and friends, that voice is Labor…
Our party – the Labor Party – is the party of the many, not the few. That means we’re the party of women. Labor is the party of equal opportunity.
That means we are the party of women. Labor is the party that leaves no one behind. That means we are the party of women.
You know that and I know that, and we want to make sure that that is heard loud and clear. Look at our history. It was Labor that introduced maternity allowances, the first great wave of social reform after federation.
It was Labor that gave women the chance to serve and shine in the farms and factories of wartime in the 1940s.
It was Gough Whitlam’s Labor that delivered the first pay equality case and started federal funding for childcare.
And it was only ever Labor that was going to give this nation its first female prime minister.
It was only ever Labor that was going to put paid parental leave on the agenda and get it done…
It was only ever Labor that was going to out a National Disability Insurance Scheme on the agenda, so women with disability and women who bear the burden of caring can get the supports that they need.
It was only ever Labor that was going to invest in the future by rolling out the National Broadband Network, and it’s only Labor that is going to invest in the education of every child in every school.
That’s Labor’s agenda, and it’s only Labor that would deliver an agenda like that for Australia’s women.
Ben Chifley famously spoke of the things worth fighting for. I’m here today to tell you about the women worth fighting for.
Australian women, who benefit from Labor’s purpose, from Labor’s passion; I’m here to tell you today, to urge you, to get out and fight. We’ve got a hard fight ahead but it’s a hard fight to wage and we must win on 14 September.
On that day, 14 September, we are going to make a big decision as a nation. It’s a decision about whether, once again, we will banish women’s voices from our political life.
I invite you to imagine it. A prime minister – a man in a blue tie – who goes on holidays to be replaced by a man in a blue tie.
A treasurer, who delivers a budget wearing a blue tie, to be supported by a finance minister – another man in a blue tie. Women once again banished from the centre of Australia’s political life.
We don’t want to see an Australia where a paid parental leave scheme divides women, that divides upper-income women from lower-income women; that divides upper-income women from their sisters who earn less but pay through potentially loss of jobs and certainly increased prices for a paid parental leave scheme that gives those that earn the most the most benefits.
We don’t want to see childcare slashed; we don’t want to see healthcare slashed; look at what has happened in Queensland: cuts to healthcare, cuts to Breast Screen. We don’t want that to be our future in Australia.
We don’t want to see superannuation slashed, particularly for working women. We don’t to see women lose rights at work, because when fairness and dignity at work goes it’s women who bear the brunt. We know that, we’ve seen it before.
We don’t want to see the National Disability Insurance Scheme put in the custody of a political party that didn’t create it, didn’t believe in it with the power that we did and simply said ‘me too’.
We don’t want to stand in front of school gates knowing that the children in that school, including the girls in that school, are getting less of an education than they should because our nation hasn’t seen fit to invest in their future.
Finally but very importantly, we don’t want to live in an Australia where abortion again becomes the political plaything of men who think they know better.
That’s not the future we should choose for our nation, it’s not the future that I want to see for Australian women, it’s not the future I want to see for Australia’s girls…
Women’s equality has always been hard-fought for, and we’re entering a hard fight again.
Social commentator Jane Caro said it smacked of desperation and could blow up in the Prime Minister’s face…
Ms Caro added Ms Gillard’s abortion comments “smack of desperation, like it’s her last card’’.
“I am deeply worried about it,” she said.
She said the broader playing of the gender card “feels like a political tactic rather than a statement of real belief’’…
“ I’m worried it will create this very idea that we don’t want, which is that women in politics only represent women. We want women in politics because we want the brightest and the best of all available people.’’
University of Technology, Sydney, professorial fellow Eva Cox said voters shouldn’t be swayed by politics that uses gender to rally votes.
“This strikes me as part of continuing to push the misogyny thing,’’ she said. “If women want to vote for Julia, they should do it based on the policies that both parties are putting up, not on the possibility that there might be something on abortions, given the federal government control in that area is?minimal.”
It raised eyebrows within Labor, with some MPs believing the Prime Minister had “jumped the shark”.
Coalition women described the comments as desperate and offensive. Even one Labor MP, Stephen Jones, said he was surprised by Ms Gillard’s pitch.
He stressed he supported a woman’s right to choose but “I am not convinced of the wisdom of kicking this into a political debate’’…
And there’s Wendy Harmer, co-founder of The Hoopla, who says her readers haven’t been impressed. She told the ABC: “I’ve been getting emails all day saying ‘Did she really say that’?”
Hmm. Maybe we should indeed be scared of treasurers in blue ties delivering budgets. Here’s the current Labor treasurer Wayne Swan, delivering his budget speech explanation earlier this year:
But be aware: Gillard’s speech is not just an appeal to women to prevent her being replaced by Tony Abbott. It is also to appeal to prevent her being replaced by another man – Kevin Rudd, former Labor Prime Minister.
And then there’s the probable future leader of the Labor Party, Bill Shorten, shown here with Kevin Rudd.
Both Georgie Gardner and Mia Freedman have gone feral on the Today show, over Gillards hate rant, calling it divisive and a disgrace.
Reader Keith fights back:
That’s it, I’m wearing a blue tie on Clean Up Australia Day. Just so that I can make a statement. [Julia Gillard’s] sexist statement is absolute rot and the divide tactics will not work.
Women readers are invited to send in pictures of their support for Blue Tie Day, similar to the image shown here at right.
Everyone is laughing:
Current Labor Government Education Minister Peter Garrett was just interviewed on ABC News 24. Wearing a BLUE TIE!
Latika Bourke on ABC wearing a blue tie whilst making her political comments. What can one say when the lefties are taking the mickey out of her.
Reader doc molloy:
Blue tie shining at me nothing but blue ties do I see Never saw the sun shinin’ so bright Never saw things goin’ so right Noticing the days hurrying by When you were blue, my how they fly …
Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am. He is also heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of radio station MTR 1377, and his book Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.