Tuesday, 9th October 2012


Yesterday brought another disgraceful incident of online sexist abuse (aimed at the Prime Minister), and another round of accusations and counter-accusations about the worsening, personalised tone of public debate. Is Julia Gillard the real victim, or Tony Abbott? Alan Jones or free speech? It's become a morass.
Parliament, returning today, is likely to be an unedifying affair.

We can be sure that no-one will be looking to stood-aside Speaker Peter Slipper for guidance. Yesterday, hundreds of pages of his text messages to and from accuser James Ashby were revealed: "The grossly offensive messages about women’s genitalia from Slipper will make it almost impossible for the government to reinstate him in the Speaker’s chair as he expects if he is cleared of allegations," writes Pamela Williams in the AFR.

The court of public opinion will make sure of it.

BREAKING: Caucus Chief 'Fed Up', Quits

Nick Feik
Politicoz Editor

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Text Barrage Reveals Slipper’s Secrets

"A blockbuster affidavit filed in a Sydney courtroom last week has the potential to shake the federal government to its teeth, citing thousands of telephone text messages, many of which reveal the standard bearer of Australia’s parliament, Speaker Peter Slipper, sexually baiting and pressing former aide James Ashby for information about his private life. Ashby… revealed the entire contents of his phone messages in the affidavit."

Labor Women Called To Condemn Slipper

"The Coalition has declared Peter Slipper's position as Speaker as untenable and challenged senior Labor women to publicly condemn his 'disgusting' text messages about women. Fresh text messages sent by Mr Slipper to Mr Ashby were revealed in court yesterday in which the stood-aside speaker made humiliating references to women's genitalia."

Federal Newspoll

The latest federal Newspoll, in which Labor falls back again.

Jones Has Not Been Bullied - Turnbull

"Alan Jones has been 'given a dose of his own medicine' with the online campaign that has stripped his station of sponsors, and is not the victim of 'cyberbullying' as he has claimed, the Coalition communication spokesman, Malcolm Turnbull, has said. Mr Turnbull said new media has allowed 'thousands of Australians' to speak 'for themselves, unedited, unmediated', and the consequences have been 'without precedent'."

Also: 'Liberty in the Digital Age' – Malcolm Turnbull's 2012 Alfred Deakin Lecture

Why Social Media Can’t Be Ignored

"Alan Jones’s sponsors aren’t the only brands that have been caught in the crossfire between showbiz hosts and social media campaigns... Corporate Australia is being forced to take the reputational risks that social media poses more seriously than ever."

Also: Australia's Prime Minister Bullied Online (USA)