Julia Banks' exit puts the spotlight on political 'boys club'

Federal MP Julia Banks denounced her party yesterday and moved to the crossbench, leaving the Government two votes shy of a majority.

But it also signalled a  tidal shift in her party and, potentially, in Australian politics.

As reported on the ABC this morning, Ms Banks' exit and her reasons for doing so have renewed debate about the treatment of women in Parliament.

While some, such as Kelly O'Dwyer deny their is any ill-treatment of women in Parliament (the same minister who denied the need for a royal commission into banking and finance), others, such as Labor's Emma Husar, are saying that the treatment of women in Parliament was "years behind" the corporate sector.

This sentiment was only enforced with the sexist slurs slung in the chamber.

"I think the Parliament does have a problem and I don't think it's an ALP problem, I don't think it's a Liberal problem or a Green problem," said Ms Husar.

"It's a men problem."

"To me, I see it very much as a boys' club," said crossbench MP Rebekha Sharkie, referring to the issues in the Liberal Party.

"Certainly in my time working in the Liberal Party several years ago, it was some of the language, some of the behaviours, and really a cultural aspect to it that made me leave working for the Liberal Party."

Ms Husar said that Ms Banks' experience is not isolated, herslef blaming the "white, stale, pale brigade" for trying to end her political career.

The Greens are pushing for a respectful debate on how to improve the standards of debate in the Senate chamber to prevent women facing sexist slurs.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale was suspended from the chamber on Tuesday after refusing to withdraw his comments calling Liberal senator Barry O'Sullivan a "pig", because of remarks he made about Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

"If we cannot debate and act civilly in this chamber, that is the most representative chamber in this country, that is the prime legislative chamber of this Parliament, then how can we expect people outside the chamber to debate and argue and disagree respectfully?" said Senate President Scott Ryan.

Senator Di Natale said he wanted to take a stand to stop a pattern of behaviour in the Upper House.

"If we are going to encourage more women to our national Parliament, then we have to set a standard for them that their workplace is a safe one," he said.

"It is completely unacceptable that a woman would need to endure the sort of sexist filth that is being levelled at some of my parliamentary colleagues on a nearly daily basis."

Do you think women are misreated in Parliament? Would you like to see more women in politics?

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It is hard to understand how some can allow themselves to be sucked in by the personality politics being waged by the main parties and assisted by a tabloid media that are out to sensationalise for a dumbed-down audience of headline readers and TV viewers.

Re LJ’s comment previous page: 

Was this the same Hartcher who was recently on the ABC's 'The Drum', allegedly ranting about some unnamed 'conservative' Liberal members of the federal Parliament being 'terrorists' aiming to 'blow up' the Liberal Party?

The Drum, Monday 26 November 2018

Video at 8:07/45.00: Peter Hartcher comments re Kerryn Phelps speech and the state of the Liberal Party where he was quoting Malcolm Turnbull who left allegedly saying “the terrorists were blowing up the party”.

I do not agree that Peter Hartcher was “ranting” to quote yourself LJ.

I’ll leave readers here to draw their own conclusions.

Video @ 8:07/45.00:


Thanks for the Link RnR. Yes, Hartcher was quoting Malcolm Turnbull.


Hartcher did make the same inflammatory reference to (conservative Liberal) 'terrorists' 'blowing up the 'Liberal Party' a number of times in that show did he not?  Yet he considers himself to be a serious political journalist?

The intent was to anchor the language and image in the minds of the dumbed-down bots, the mob, who allow others to do their thinking for them.

Hardly the sort of language and imagery that a senior wordsmith of a major news outlet should be using in the present environment.  But the ABC's Julia Baird let it pass as well.  Why?  The ABC is tub-thumping and moralising about the language used and the claimed (but so far unsubstantiated!) bullying in the federal Parliament.  

Hardly the sort of language and imagery that a senior wordsmith of a major news outlet should be using in the present environment.  But the ABC's Julia Baird let it pass as well.  Why?  The ABC is tub-thumping and moralising about the language used and the claimed (but so far unsubstantiated!) bullying in the federal Parliament.

The intent was to anchor the language and image in the minds of the dumbed-down bots, the mob, who allow others to do their thinking for them.

Only in your opinion IMO. Mine is totally different as regards to just who the others are who allow their thinking to be hijacked are ... and who by ... but agree to disagree, each to their own.


LJ, if you use the link that RnR has put up and watch the show you will see that (1) Hartcher was quoting Malcolm Turnbull and (2) Julia Baird was not comparing the Drum that day.

The Liberals have got themselves into a terrible mess with their infighting, getting rid of Turnbull, bullying problem and treatment of women, lack of action on important public concerns, poor policy making etc etc. The party can only blame itself for being on the nose. Blaming the media, especially the ABC, and accusing the public of being dumbed down is the sort of right wing mentality that will further compound the Lib Party’s problems. In particular I suspect that the attacks on the ABC and cuts to its budget over recent years has not gone down well with many Liberal, National and swinging voters. Re the Nats - people in the bush LOVE their ABC. 



Happy to note that it was Ellen Fanning who hosted that show of the ABC's 'The  Drum".

Hartcher was outrageous.  Honestly, 'terrorists', 'blew it up', 'Trump-action' etc.  What utter nonsense and self-indulgence. He should have been pulled back into line.  Not on the present day ABC though.

Should have been 'Trump-faction' not 'Trump-action'.  Where does Hartcher get that stuff?


Let's set this record straight. Hartcher was not quoting Malcolm Turnbull. To quote someone you must use their exact words. Hartcher did not.

Regarding the coup, Malcolm said to Cormann " this is terrorism". Cormann agreed with him, but went ahead and did it anyway. On Q&A, Malcolm said "they effectively blew the government up."

Kartcher put in his own embellishments "Trump faction" etc. He should know better, his words on the Drum lack integrity. Not the first time Kartcher has tried the smear tactic.

Correct Ray..if I may add this..among psychologists there is something known as the "illusion of truth" effect. If you repeat a lie often enough it becomes the truth. Almost everyone from advertisers to politicians to reporters.. take  advantage of this flaw in human psychology.

Repetition makes a fact seem more true.. regardless of whether it is or not. If people understood this..it can help them falling for propaganda. This is the tactic used by Hartcher on the Drum..repeating his misquotes of Malcolm..he was attempting to entrench an idea.

Julia Banks disrespected the office of the PM, regardless of who he is. She was asked to have a meeting with Morrison in his office, she refused, she was asked to ring him, she refused. He eventually had to ring her. Total feminist BS, no place for it in government. Is this what we're going to get with 50/50 quotas? Give me a break. Good riddance to her.


 "Good riddance to her."

Agree Ray..I shed no tears for the cruel bullies of this world when they are bullied in return.

“Some people’s idea of free speech is they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage” Sir Winston Churchill.

Julia Banks has indulged in her fair share of cruelty and making light of the destitute as lazy and dishonest. She happily bashed the poor and now she complains because she is getting a taste of her own medicine.


“At what point does loyalty morph into tribalism and the brutal humiliation of anyone who steps out of line? Ask the Liberal Party, which is violently eating itself amid an atmosphere of blame and blind hatred.”

From article “Liberals turn tribal under cover of loyalty” by Jacqueline Maley, Sydney Morning Herald 2/12/2018

More from the same article:


“But what the Liberals call loyalty looks increasingly like tribalism, and tribalism is the enemy of civil society, and it is the enemy of progress. Loyalty is principled. Tribalism is savage.

In one of the most arresting images of the week, Banks was seen standing for her speech in the House of Representatives, while five of her former Liberal colleagues turned their backs on her as they left.

It was a stark visual representation of the party’s rejection of criticism and responsibility for itself.”


 “Former Prime Minister John Howard popped up on 7.30 and said Banks “owes a lot to the Liberal Party”, and that politicians should “never forget” they owe their positions to the patronage of their own party.

Banks says she was bullied and intimidated by some of her colleagues during the coup against Turnbull, but apparently she owes fealty to her tormentors. Outside politics, we call that an abusive relationship.”

Unquestioning loyalty, is this not what Hitler and Stalin asked of their cohorts? If you want unquestioning loyalty, buy a dog, intelligent humans always question, it is how facism and communism is curtailed.

Despite the rantings of former Pm's, it is a fact that politicians are employed by the voters, they serve by the will of the voters and will be rightfully rejected by the voters if they do not fullfill the wishes of those people who put their trust in them.  

I repeat, those who donate to political parties may have a lot of money, but they still only have one vote.  The right needs to wake up to this fact and run the country for the benefit of the people who voted them in, not the Banks and Coal companies.

Do we need more women in parliament like Banks who wasnt even a member of the Liberal party when she stood? She should have known politics is a cruel ruthless game by looking at the discarded pollies who really had something to offer and didnt whine and grizzle at being asked to vote along faction lines

Quotas in lieu of merit could only increase the number of younger politicians who leave early and receive that generous golden handshake and parliamentary superannuation for life.

Politically correct quotas will cost the Aussie taxpayer millions. What a gift to the young over-taxed workers.  Not!

Merit based, if the current mob of Liberal/National politicians were selected by merit I can only conclude that the pool is very shallow indeed.  One would have too ask the obvious question, if members of a party have to be bullied into following a certain path, just how rightious could that particular path be.  If a person can't be convinced by thoughtfull arguement, there must be something wrong with the subject matter.

LJ, bad government decisions will cost the taxpayer much more than taxpayers scrutiny of due process.

Yep, we need more women in parliament. We need women like these, hot, smart, leaders and resiliant. These are all politicians

Image result for the hottest female politicians in the world

Micha are you saying Pauline Hanson and Jacqui Lambie don't cut the mustard?

Yup, I guess that's what I'm saying mate, haha

They all look lovely Micha, but chances are they may not be allowed in our Parliament. ABC Radio National presenter Patricia Karvelas was asked by an attendant to leave the press gallery during Question Time at Parliament House because she was showing "too much shoulder" !


Image result for news for patricia karvelas

That's disgraceful KIAH, didn't Julie B get the memo? And why are all these women hugging and kissing in parliament?

Image result for julie bishop in sleeveless dress in parliament

They're planning a take over!

They've won mate, the future is female, end of the road for us!

Image result for clipart of feminists at parliament house



Very funny you lot..but..did you know women in Rwanda enjoy the perks of one of the most equal societies in the world? After the genocide in 1994.. Rwanda as many of us know was torn to bits. It’s the women who survived the atrocities that rebuilt the country.

Today Rwanda is thriving and that is due in the main to the 64 per cent female majority in government. I am not saying that all over the world there should be an overabundance of women in parliaments just because they are women..however..having highly qualified and strong women ..who get there on “merit” and not only to make up “quotas”.. women who can hold their own in an historically male dominated work environment.. can only enhance the overall health of our nation.

We could learn a lot from Rwanda’s example.


Are you saying that women are better off in Rwanda than in the West and specifically, better off than in Australia?

It is a very restrictive, authoritarian regime and from what you imply, they have women to thank for it. 

Presumably, it was that visit by Oprah and wife that was the final jewel in the crown making Rwanda sooo 'Progressive' and the best thing ever.


Oprah has a wife?

Image result for scratching head smiley animated gif

Sorry, not Oprah, Ellen.  

Well picked and thank you, Micha

The superficial, self-promoting motormouths on The Box are all the same to me, LOL

Fortunately, there are many expensive restaurants in Canberra where these self-entitled women can 'network' and after, adjourn to a bar to congratulate themselves on serving themselves very well indeed.  

Then to jet off overseas and leave it to others, the lesser mortals, to pick up the pieces and get things going again.

One thing is for sure, they would never be concerned what ordinary, make that lesser, women want. 

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