Role-modelling workforce participation at #G20Brisbane: @Sarah_Capper comment

Female leadership has been on display in recent weeks – despite weeks saturated by coverage of the G20 Brisbane meet, with a city on partial lockdown, bar an explosion of Queensland Cops, and punters and photo journalists alike, quietly hopeful the PM would, in this instance, keep to his word, with the promise of a good Rumble in the Vegas Jungle, with the heavyweights bout in the ‘outdoorsy / sporty / blokey’ leader division – Team Australia’s Oxford/Wall boxing and DT-clad PM Tony Abbott V former KGB turned topless-wilderness-roaming and bird migration gliding expert Russian President Vladamir Putin. But alas, for all Abbott’s threats of ‘shirt-fronting’ Putin-On-the-Ritz, it was not […]

The #Gough political legacy and the vision thing: @sarah_capper column

Reading over the tributes to former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, who passed away last week, it’s difficult to write a tribute to such a great political giant without admitting that I wasn’t alive when Whitlam was in office. Growing up a decade later in the 80s, in a politically conservative household in the politically conservative state of Queensland, Whitlam was the stuff of folklore. I have memories of Bob Hawke as PM being yelled at during the nightly news, being told Keating was the ‘devil’, while Gough was supposedly the ‘worst Prime Minister in history’. In wanting to reject a lot of this conservative backdrop, and indeed the throws of […]

Time to be Alert … And a little bit Alarmed? – the @sarah_capper column

Yes, that’s right, last week Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the Government was raising Australia’s ‘terror alert’ status to ‘high’.  While technically this means a terrorist attack on Australian soil is now regarded as “likely”, the PM was quick to clarify that “this does not mean that a terror attack is imminent. We have no specific intelligence of particular plots.” Fast forward one week as Australians woke to the news of police raids on houses in Sydney and Brisbane. Almost 900 police were involved with 15 people detained and at this stage, one charged with conspiracy to prepare an attack, another charged with weapons offenses. Based on media reports, the […]

Cigar wielding wealthy motorist entitlements: the @sarah_capper column

Sitting on the train, surrounded by other poor people, sans cars, it’s hard not to wonder whether the Abbott Government is becoming increasingly out of touch with its constituents. Sure, there are a lot of discrepancies on public transport – for example, on the not-so-rough Sandringham line, taking in Melbourne’s bayside suburbs, I’m guessing some commuters don’t have one, but possibly three cars. And across town, over on the Cragieburn line, cutting up Melbourne’s North-West, while it may seem a little shabbier than the line that takes in South Yarra, the Brightons, and the Hamptons, I’m guessing a fair share of passengers also own cars (with the propensity for hotted […]

Senate Bingo! The @sarah_capper column

A whole new class of players joined the Upper House this month, and with a record number of cross-benchers – 18, including the Greens – there will be deals-a-plenty and the “spin cycle” on overdrive. Cards will be kept close to chests; cards will be put out on the table; and, as the last week has shown, cards will just as quickly be taken away. While PUP leader Clive Palmer appeals to pensioners by saying he will block the Government’s $7 GP co-payment, so that “those ladies” can “have their chocolate and go to the cinema”, let’s crunch the critical numbers with a round of ‘Senate Bingo’. [Insert archaic rolling wheel of bingo […]

Sheilas’ @sarah_capper: Feminist #Frightbats Unite!

[clear] [clear]We’re proud supporters of ‘Feminist Frightbats’ at Sheilas, having published more than a few of the contributors listed in Tim Blair’s “hysterical” blog post on News Limited’s Daily Telegraph website a couple of days ago. Under the post titled ‘Crown Our Crazy Queen’, Blair launched a predictable ideologically driven sexist spray against what he labeled “this nation’s most unhinged hysteric” of “Australia’s left-wing ladies’ auxiliary”. Included on Blair’s list querying ‘Who is Australia’s craziest left-wing frightbat’ are Jane Caro, Clementine Ford, Margo Kingston, Van Badham, Anne Summers, Catherine Deveny, Elizabeth Farrelly, Marieke Hardy, Clem Bastow, and Jenna Price. But as a clever rebuke of the offensive post, several on the list […]

Reading the #WAvotes tea leaves: @sarah_capper

[clear]   Following an Australian Electoral Commission bungle after the federal Senate count last September, West Australians were forced back to the polls earlier this month, in what was supposed to represent either an endorsement for Tony Abbott’s Government and policies – or it would instead show an improvement in Labor’s poor vote in the state last September and suggest the opposition was on the right track. It did neither. Neither of the major parties truly succeeded in their campaigns, both losing around 5 per cent of their share from the September result. This desertion of voters from both major parties went to The Greens and the Palmer United minor parties – The Greens […]

Women’s Minister Tony helps myth-bust views on feminism, by @sarah_capper

By Sarah Capper  @sarah_capper 14th February 2014 International Women’s Day, on 8 March every year, is that time of year when we are able to celebrate, pause and reflect. And sometimes gasp. In the political sphere, we had our Minister for Women, our Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, declaring at an International Women’s Day event that having three daughters has turned this “unreconstructed bloke into a feminist”. The PM mused that “this is a nation which has smashed just about every glass ceiling, but we need to do more – we need to do more.” Granted, if you were to put money on any federal pollie “smashing” anything, you’d back Abbott and his […]

Crystal ball predictions for politics 2014 by @sarah_capper

[clear] By Sarah Capper  @sarah_capper 14th February 2014 Our federal representatives, who we ushered in with gusto last September, returned to Canberra this week – the land of what Wikipedia (hey, if it’s good enough for the Environment Minister) describes as being home to “politics, public service, pornography,pyrotechnics, pot and prostitution – the “Six P’s” as they are known.” Let’s make it seven: PRIDE. It may seem like an eternity, but the Abbott Government has been in power for just over 100 days (approaching the 150-day-mark). Typically, modern Australian political parties get at least two terms to flex their governing muscles. The first term is often reserved for doing the “tricky” business – running with agendas that are […]

Best Polly Ticks Quotes and Moments of 2013

by Sarah Capper 23 December 2013 A week is a long time in politics. A year is an excruciating amount of time, and as we near the end of 2013, our third prime minister for the year has just reached his first 100 days in office. Awww. In many senses, it’s been Tony Abbott’s year. So what does this year in politics look like – in the “suppository of wisdom” of quotable quotes? Beyond the delivery of our PM’s trademark “Umm, Ah, Yeah, Um,” response? Some people said Abbott’s election would provide Australia with its ‘George Bush’ moment [shiver], but in terms of adding to the rich history of Australian political […]