POOPYNE v BUTCH GILLARD: Is it wrong to mock?

housefight Not since the Keating era have we so enjoyed displays of Parliamentary abuse of the kind occasionally laid on by DPM Gillard. Her effort yesterday in characterising Christopher Pyne as a “mincing poodle” will probably be as damaging to him as the worst of Keating’s barbs, hacking into Hewson for his Ferrari and being a “feral abacus”, referring to Liberal Lefty Fred Chaney as “Red Fred” and equating Bronwyn Bishop with an out of control firecracker wheel.

Many piously shake their head at such takedowns, we say they are the lifeblood of modern politics. Nothing clarifies more than an insult. Nothing cuts through like the unvarnished truth.

The elevation of Christopher Pyne as Manager of Opposition Business by Malcolm Turnbull was probably the right call for Turnbull as he seeks to achieve generational change, to present a new face for the Liberal party.

It’s a shame because Tony Abbott -when well prepared and on form – can be formidable and imposing and can give the Liberal backbenchers solace during these challenging times, as they bump along the bottom of opinion poll charts.

Pyne will struggle to have the same impact as Abbott would.

Partly that’s because he is so well-spoken, with an Adelaide accent one can hear at the Royal Adelaide Golf Club talking conspiratorially about things that would never be repeated off-course. Except on Senator Bernardi’s blog of course.

But he’s not a complete dud, he’s one of their best and should not be spooked by Gillard’s attack that he is a “mincing poodle.” A nasty insult to be sure.

Mincing means “affectedly dainty or delicate”.

But poodles are of course the smartest and most cunning of hunting dogs. So hopefully he’ll be more poodle than mincing for the Club Fed Libs.

Some will take the reference to mean that she’s implying he’s gay. We doubt that’s what she meant. This is a War on Accents not on sexuality. One is fair sport the other mercifully – and increasingly – forbidden. Unless of course there’s cheating of some kind involved.

Whatever Pyne-o-Clean does, he should just be himself and focus on the arguments. In some settings, like Lateline he puts his case pretty well. He will grow in confidence in his senior role.

As he does, he will find he has the ongoing man-love of his bestest mate and former house-mate Christian Kerr who wrote in The Australian today:

Julia Gillard tried a metaphor of her own on Pyne, arguing his elevation ahead of Tony Abbott amounted to choosing ABBA ahead of Cold Chisel.

“I must admit that I did want to see the Member for Warringah (Tony Abbott) making a comeback,” the Deputy Prime Minister said. “In a choice between macho and mincing I would have gone for macho myself …

“Obviously the Leader of Opposition, faced with the choice of a doberman or poodle has gone for the poodle.”

It didn’t work. True, Pyne can yap, but he isn’t silly. Instead, he resembled some lithe, little creature popping up to look around at what was happening, darting in and out proceedings and offering occasional comic relief – along with the odd sharp bite.

Think Timon the meerkat from The Lion King

Very Don Dunstanish banter there. And of course when an insult-line about an opponent is repeated in every daily newspaper, on every news bulletin and on most talkback shows the following day, chances are it has worked well, devastatingly well.

Gillard of course is herself. She used to do OK in Parliament in Opposition. She made a big success of Immigration and took it up to Abbott with some skill.

But as can be the case when politicians transition from Opposition to Government, she has soared to a degree some find astonishing. Us included. Her takedowns of the “mincing poodle” are in the fine tradition of rigorous Parliamentary debate. More power to her untattooed arm.





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27 responses to “POOPYNE v BUTCH GILLARD: Is it wrong to mock?

  1. [deleted]

    Ha Ha…Pyne is a Poodle, and a mincing one at that. Good on you Julie. He is no match for her with his dainty ways, and his repungnant style. He is the weakest link for sure, and has lots of baggage, in and out of the closet to make fun of….
    Hopefully well hear more about him on the 28th Feb after the court stops pretecting his identify.

  2. Christopher Overton

    I am the real Christopher Overton. I am so the Memberships Director of the Young Liberal Movement, I find the comment above both repugnant and insulting. If people want to post comments regarding Pyne they should have the balls to do so under their own name – not mine.

  3. Chris

    It’s just mean, Julia. Imagine if someone called you a butch lezzo. Actually, bad point.

  4. jeremy

    Jules is no lezbefriend.

  5. anon

    Pyne is a Precious Pompous Poofta.

  6. mick

    Fighting words from a lady dating a hairdresser, IMHO. Very macho choice.

  7. Peter Overton

    I am the real Peter Overton. I am so the gayest guy at Channel Nine and find the above comments quite amusing. Is there a more repugnant Australian pollie than pine-o? Anyway, someone posted on Jack Marxs’ blog a while ago that the milky bar kid was born female and raised as a boy by his mother. He/she supposedly then had a sex change in Thailand after meeting Therese. He apparently has noticable breast removal scars on his/her chest. I have tried to find a picture of him with his shirt off, which I thought would not be hard for any Queenslander but alas I have come up short. If anyone can point me to a such picture I would be appreciate being able to stop looking for some trace of an adams apple every time he/she comes on the tele.

  8. ‘Cause I’m Chris Overton, yes I’m the real Overton
    All you other Chris Overton’s are just imitating
    So won’t the real Christ Overton please stand up, please stand up, please stand up?

    And in other news, Pyne is a known liar. Who would believe him?

  9. What if it is a Labor MP?

    Has anyone seriously thought this through???

    Somebody check the diary entries of our ALP closet cases for Feb 27th and 28th.

  10. Tone the Drone

    Tony Abbott has rabies, froths a lot, and has a frightful memory – “Archbishop who”?

    The RSPCA should have him put to sleep.

  11. Down Boy!

    Is it true that horny poodle ‘Pyne’ was caught trying to shag Big Mal’s leg in the male members restroom this morning?

  12. pyne box

    I’ve got a good mind to slap you chaps.

  13. we're queer we're here get over it

    Steve Perryman has taken to publicising his cause in Crikey.

    I thought he was always leaking to VexNews.

    2 . The GayLP’s rainbow revolution
    Andrew Crook writes:

    Ethnic branch staking [sic] has a long and storied history [tautology] within the once-proud structures of the Victorian ALP — for years, as grass roots membership plummeted, warlords cultivated cosy relationships with community leaders in an attempt to get mates installed in safe seats. The jousting in Melbourne’s northern suburbs became the stuff of legend with hostilities often resembling the best A-League soccer stoushes.

    But an upcoming meeting of the State Administrative Committee threatens to shine the spotlight on an altogether new kind of branch — one oriented not around ethnicity, but sexuality.

    In December, the committee gave in-principle approval to what organisers have dubbed the first unofficial “gay-friendly branch” of the ALP, located in Melbourne’s trendy borough of South Yarra. The branch, one of five in the federal electorate of Higgins, is a breakaway grouping of around 20 party members, led by president and one time Robert Ray staffer Steve Perryman. [now works for Mark Dreyfus, future Attorney-General if only he could remove the Kelvin Thomson threat to his ambitions]

    According to Perryman, the branch was conceived as a response to Mark Dreyfus’ 1998 report into branch stacking which argued (among other things) that the 100-year idea of geographically-based branches didn’t reflect contemporary levels of cultural diversity. If ALP members wanted to organise along other lines (such as a university or workplace) then they were encouraged to do so. However, whether this means creating brand new branches is questionable — the ALP’s revised organisational principles call for the consolidation, rather than the expansion, of local branches.

    The branch has met with criticism from factional rivals who claim it has more to do with internal Higgins power-plays than a real commitment to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community. Some say Admin Committee members opposed to the branch on procedural grounds were accused of homophobia by Perryman’s factional brethren, a serious allegation indeed. [Yes, the NUW hate fags]

    In the lead up to October’s admin committee meeting, Perryman issued the following statement:

    The proposal to form a new South Yarra Branch is gathering pace Race Mathew’s [sic] report welcomes new ways of implementing the Dreyfus and Tanner reports and encourages a diversity of approaches to branch meetings and structures. I understand that the South Yarra Branch will now be approved by the Admin Committee in mid October. This is great news for these enthusiastic members.

    The backdrop in Higgins is an interesting one. The usual reason to stack branches or create new ones — pre-selection influence — doesn’t apply with Peter Costello sitting on a comfortable 7% margin. For years, the Higgins FEA has been the site of intense factional warfare between the Socialist Left faction, headed by Diane Anderson, and Labor Unity, piloted by Perryman and elder statesman Race Matthews. At one stage, the factions were even issuing rival newsletters, in the best tradition of student politics. (Perryman’s Higgins ALP Voice is here while Anderson’s Higgins News — hilariously annotated by her factional rivals — is here). Some claim the South Yarra branch may be simply an attempt to create a new powerbase for internal party purposes.

    Perryman told Crikey that he “wanted another branch in the Prahran area that was prepared to work hard in the heart of Higgins”. He cites a flexible meeting structure and a desire to breakaway from the staid policy debates that had infected branch meetings elsewhere. But he also said the GLBT community required a statewide organisational focus and didn’t want the branch to be the sole lightning rod for activists.

    Interestingly, the shell of a such a statewide body may already exist. Rainbow Labor, which has been trying for years to get official recognition at state level in Victoria, will again take its bid for official status to the Administration Committee on Thursday. So far Rainbow Labor has been consistently rejected by members of Perryman’s right wing faction — the same members who agitated for the setup of the South Yarra branch.

    In New South Wales, Rainbow Labor acts as a gathering point for gender issues and law reform efforts. It claims to erode informal discriminatory barriers and provide political space and a visible presence for GLBT activism, in the mould of the Labor Women’s Network.

    Sarah Cole, Rainbow Labor’s representative in Victoria, told Crikey that it was fantastic Perryman’s branch could advertise itself as being friendly to the local GLBT community but that it shouldn’t be replacement for a formal statewide network.

    “It’s a sad thing if this kind of factionalism can get in the way of the framework to address broader policy areas”, Cole said.

    If its bid for official status is approved on Thursday, Rainbow Labor will take its fight to the ALP’s national conference in July.

    But it may all come too late — if the move to approve Rainbow Labor is delayed again, then GLBT activists, already suspicious of the ALP, may have every reason to sidestep the internecine bickering and abandon the party for good.

  14. What if it is a Labor MP?

    What will Perryman and Rainbow Labor do if it is a Labor closet case State MLA who campaigns in his suburban breeder seat as a good “family values” man, and who voted against Civil Unions in Victoria – and supported the Relationships Register?

    Will they criticise or protect the hypocrit?????????????????????????

    As Michael Kirby said, the Labor Register is tantamount to registering a “pet”. Insulting Labor, very insulting and not good enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. [deleted]

    Please tell me why my rectum is sooo sore?

  16. [deleted]

    For now I am delighted that the punters think I am Christpher Pyne MHR…

    God and my “wife” know I have had enough close calls over the years – and my openly gay brother (who is much more attractive than I) has been blamed too many times…

  17. Craig Langdon - Ivanhoe!

    By the way, I am a card carrying member of the ALP right!!!!

    How very Tory of you Craig….

  18. Jenny Mulholland

    I am uglier than a hat full of arseholes and my husband is not only a thug, he is impotent.

  19. [deleted]

    I feel so guilty, but I never expected this one to plead guilty!!!!

    Smart little liberal fucker!

  20. Tel

    Sad… everyone knows Tony Blair is the poodle. Gillard, please go out an buy some fresh insults, Keating at least knew how to read a dictionary.

  21. I’ll be presumptuous and say you might enjoy this:

    “Right-wing names and Greg Lindsay (CIS) involved in major scandal they wish kept concealed”


  22. The Crikey article contains a major error. The leader of the Socialist Left in Higgins is, in fact, Bill Albon – not Diane Anderson.

  23. Anonski

    The closet MP is not so much a mincer – more of a plodder.

    It’s Ivanhoe!

  24. Dean Sherriff

    I made a comment earlier. Looks like my patrotic contributions were censored. Fark the man.

  25. C Pyne

    I am just like Noddy and we all know what I did to Big Ears.

  26. Big Ears

    Noddy why is my arse hole gaping open?

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