CLASS ACT: Belinda Neal back in town (but avoiding Gosford pubs)

belindaneal The embattled NSW federal MP Belinda Neal – whose complaints about woeful service at a Gosford pub turned  into a national scandal – has brilliantly fought back with an appearance on Australian Story.

The show did few had bothered with, putting both sides of the story. Those accusing her got a fair run to put their claims forward. And she was given the opportunity to show the real Belinda Neal, an intelligent, assertive but fair-minded person who is hated by local Socialist Left types.

The Neal saga reveals some genuine contradictions in what the public expects from politicians. We expect them to take themselves seriously and to treat their office like it matters. But not to demand good service from yobs working in a pub. We expect them to be demanding for their community. But to be stonily silent if the Parliament House catering manager wife of an Age journalist insults their spouse and serves sub-par food. We demand MP’s be respectful and courteous in the chamber yet we applaud the zinging and cruel one-liners of a Keating, Costello or a Gillard. We accept that MP’s should be able to have a normal family life but are happy to imperil them by being enthusiastic consumers of journalism reporting on private lives. A recent story on an MP’s divorce was the most viewed news story online that weekend by a factor of two.

There is a reason why Belinda Neal got into so much trouble earlier this year. We don’t know what we want from her. But we do know what we can get now, a Member of Parliament who’ll second guess herself every time she thinks her interlocutor deserves a spray. She’ll hold back. Even if it’s an Immigration bureaucrat wrongly about to deport someone. Or Telstra cutting off the phone connection of someone in poor health.

There are countless times we the people need our MP’s to stand up and fight for us. Sometimes that involves harsh words and tough positioning.

If we nanny state our representatives into being weak, politically correct bureaucrats, we’ll lose characters like Nick Xenophon, Sophie Mirabella, Tony Abbott, Rob Hulls, Laurie Ferguson, Belinda Neal, even Wilson Tuckey and Australian politics will be all the poorer for it.

If we erase the colour from politics, a very bleak shade of grey will be left behind.

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “CLASS ACT: Belinda Neal back in town (but avoiding Gosford pubs)

  1. that wich’s “colour” is black. her evil colours came through clearly last night.
    gave us a chill just watching the eerie silence at the dinner table as Della and her tormented sons tried to chew down her indigestible stew without getting a foul-mouthed epithet or left hook thrown their way.
    not to worry, the good voters of Robertson will toss her out on her tush in a couple of years.

  2. Anon

    Belinda Neal has already lost preselection (so my friends in Sussex Street tell me) so why did she even bother with Australian Story?

    Talk at the coffee machine this morning in my office suggested she didn’t do that good.

    I didn’t see it myself so can’t offer any personal reflections on her performance.

  3. sooty

    I thought the story backfired pretty badly. I agree that more colorful representatives can make for a more entertaining political environment. But there is such a thing as grace, and also such a thing as picking your fights. Picking a fight over a wrong deportation = yes. Picking a fight over poor service = no. You just say your unhappy, and leave. In any case, the re-hearing of her colorful past only served to remind us of something that would have been pretty much forgotten in 6 months time.

  4. Obi Wan Kenobe

    I have no doubt Belinda Neal said some things about Madame Mirabella she regrets… But Madame Mirabella has made disgraceful interjections regarding Julia Gillard’s childless status herself. Let’s face it, Belinda was the victim of a politically inspired media feeding frenzy, most of which was totally unfair and over the top.

    You have to give Belinda Neal credit for one thing… She has guts in the face of an ambush.

  5. anon

    I am not a fan of the NSW right or Belinda Neal. However, I am also not prepared to condemn her for just being a tough politician who plays tough politics. She has been victimised and vilified publicly by oponents and the media ran with it wildly. Bizarre accusations levelled but never proven, misdemeanours turned into major crimes and a chilling ‘singling out’ screaming double standards – forces me to say: “Go for it Belinda – fight for what you believe in and don’t be frightened by the real bullies who have tried to silence you.

  6. oh come on, Anon. she’s NSW Right royalty with a reputation for bovver-girl antics going back years. And now *she’s* the victim of bullies???
    really!
    she’s finding out that what comes around…

  7. Anon

    So who is dumber, Kelly Hoare or Belinda Neal?

  8. anon

    Didn’t Belinda used to work in the Gorilla Biscuit factory?

  9. timmy Prince

    the NAZI propaganda machine would be proud!!.

    What a load of cr#p this article is!! whoever wrote it is an idiot.Expecting us to believe Neal is “harsh but fair” and a “victim”. I cant believe someone even wrote this!!

  10. joseph

    After reading about Belinda,s past and present, I suggest that she detaches herself from anything or anybody related to politics and starts a new life as a new born christian. She is not made for politics as she is not vindictive. Cruel and vindictive persons do not express their feelings. This will not be easy but in the end what a person feels inside is what counts. Knock and a door shall be opened.

  11. emily jackson

    When has she fought for us?

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