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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Wednesday, 14 February 2007
Patriarchal ALP/Iemma political bimbos for the tv picfac, or emancipated sisters smashing the glass ceiling?
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: election nsw 2007

Picture: From left: ALP MPs Kristina Keneally MLA (Heffron), Angela D'Amore MLA (Drummoyne), Jodi Mackay (preselected candidate Newcastle), Virginnia Judge MLA (Strathfield)
 

Preface:

 

Perhaps subconsciously this writer being a single straight sort of bloke has set upon this story as a result of today by coincidence being Valentines Day here February 14th 2007. We can only honestly say the line of inquiry has been with us for about 2 weeks well before we heard of this marketing day arriving again.

 

We realised a certain probably cynical pattern from watching the pressers on Stateline and other recent ABC and other tv news over the last 2 months. 

 

Quite a coincidence and maybe appropriate to publish today, yet quite a serious issue about spin in Big Politics and Big Media in NSW at the moment around exploitation of gender equity and social values.

 

 

Story

 

 

Political observer hacks like this writer can still recall the withering attack by John Hatton MP (Independent) on former Liberal Police Minister Terry Griffiths for sexual harassment in NSW Parliament, by calling him “a boy”.

 

The attack was worse for the fact Hatton, who was more than most the father of the Wood Royal Commission into police corruption, felt he was deceived by ex Minister Griffiths on matters of personal behaviour and had therefore maintained an agnostic political judgement on the Ministers fate for longer than was warranted: Refer Griffiths speech in Hansard here before being forced to resign at the 1995 state election:

 

Honourable Member For Georges River Sexual Harassment Inquiry ...

 

Far be it for photogenic female backbenchers to be disrespected by this writer for their undoubted personal achievements in life. Having looks should not be a cause for reverse discrimination. But then experienced observers of political spin cannot help but notice the positioning of these junior politicians to boost the appeal of Premier Morris Iemma on the campaign trail.

 

The ALP MP's above are consipicuously silent window dressing usually in view of the camera just over Iemma’s shoulder. When they do talk like Jodi Mackay 3rd from the left it seems to be froth and bubble about being “excited” to be representing the ALP (not to mention all that personal financial security of a backbenchers wage with little policy responsibility).

 

Iemma should watch himself with his official launch this weekend about getting too clever: Griffith’s was described back in 1994 by colleagues and visitors, turned witnesses, as having an office of “pretty girls” suggesting a fairly deliberate decorative hiring intention over actual qualifications for such a crucial ministerial portfolio.

 

And what about negative stereotyping of good looking intelligent capable individuals as bimbos? Are they not similarly disadvantaged by cynical presentations, and treated as a book cover rather than allowed to expand their responsibility and talent, like so many Donna Mosses to the Josh Lyman alpha male in West Wing tv series? It works to discriminate against the good lookers as well as the plain.

 

And it is not just this writer who seems to have noticed a certain PR pattern to the Iemma machine visual presentation:

 

Brown slams ALP 'political yuppies'

FORMER federal government minister Bob Brown has made a stinging attack on the endorsed state Labor candidate for Newcastle, Jodi McKay, calling on her to resign. Newcastle Herald 06/02/2007     Cost - $2.20     427 word

 

Is Iemma's ALP treating the voters and democracry of NSW like a glossy tv advertsing account?  Is this how elections should be determined by the window dressing or by the brains and genuine political talent?

 

The sisters in the NSW political community should be heard on this, not silent like so many women in a Morris Iemma press conference we have observed in Big Media this last 2 months.

 


Posted by editor at 12:35 PM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 14 February 2007 1:30 PM EADT

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