Transcript of Julia Gillard's speech

Julia Gillard made an impassioned speech against Tony Abbott's motion to remove Peter Slipper as Speaker. Photo: Andrew Meares

Thank you very much Deputy Speaker and I rise to oppose the motion moved by the Leader of the Opposition. And in so doing I say to the Leader of the Opposition I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. I will not. And the Government will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. Not now, not ever.

The Leader of the Opposition says that people who hold sexist views and who are misogynists are not appropriate for high office. Well I hope the Leader of the Opposition has got a piece of paper and he is writing out his resignation. Because if he wants to know what misogyny looks like in modern Australia, he doesn't need a motion in the House of Representatives, he needs a mirror. That's what he needs.

Let's go through the Opposition Leader's repulsive double standards, repulsive double standards when it comes to misogyny and sexism. We are now supposed to take seriously that the Leader of the Opposition is offended by Mr Slipper's text messages, when this is the Leader of the Opposition who has said, and this was when he was a minister under the last government – not when he was a student, not when he was in high school – when he was a minister under the last government.

He has said, and I quote, in a discussion about women being under-represented in institutions of power in Australia, the interviewer was a man called Stavros. The Leader of the Opposition says “If it's true, Stavros, that men have more power generally speaking than women, is that a bad thing?”

And then a discussion ensues, and another person says “I want my daughter to have as much opportunity as my son.” To which the Leader of the Opposition says “Yeah, I completely agree, but what if men are by physiology or temperament, more adapted to exercise authority or to issue command?”

Then ensues another discussion about women's role in modern society, and the other person participating in the discussion says “I think it's very hard to deny that there is an underrepresentation of women,” to which the Leader of the Opposition says, “But now, there's an assumption that this is a bad thing.”

This is the man from whom we're supposed to take lectures about sexism. And then of course it goes on. I was very offended personally when the Leader of the Opposition, as Minister of Health, said, and I quote, “Abortion is the easy way out.” I was very personally offended by those comments. You said that in March 2004, I suggest you check the records.

I was also very offended on behalf of the women of Australia when in the course of this carbon pricing campaign, the Leader of the Opposition said “What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing…” Thank you for that painting of women's roles in modern Australia.

And then of course, I was offended too by the sexism, by the misogyny of the Leader of the Opposition catcalling across this table at me as I sit here as Prime Minister, “If the Prime Minister wants to, politically speaking, make an honest woman of herself…”, something that would never have been said to any man sitting in this chair. I was offended when the Leader of the Opposition went outside in the front of Parliament and stood next to a sign that said “Ditch the witch.”

I was offended when the Leader of the Opposition stood next to a sign that described me as a man's bitch. I was offended by those things. Misogyny, sexism, every day from this Leader of the Opposition. Every day in every way, across the time the Leader of the Opposition has sat in that chair and I've sat in this chair, that is all we have heard from him.

And now, the Leader of the Opposition wants to be taken seriously, apparently he's woken up after this track record and all of these statements, and he's woken up and he's gone “Oh dear, there's this thing called sexism, oh my lords, there's this thing called misogyny. Now who's one of them? Oh, the Speaker must be because that suits my political purpose.”

Doesn't turn a hair about any of his past statements, doesn't walk into this Parliament and apologise to the women of Australia. Doesn't walk into this Parliament and apologise to me for the things that have come out of his mouth. But now seeks to use this as a battering ram against someone else.

Well this kind of hypocrisy must not be tolerated, which is why this motion from the Leader of the Opposition should not be taken seriously.

And then second, the Leader of the Opposition is always wonderful about walking into this Parliament and giving me and others a lecture about what they should take responsibility for.

Always wonderful about that – everything that I should take responsibility for, now apparently including the text messages of the Member for Fisher. Always keen to say how others should assume responsibility, particularly me.

Well can anybody remind me if the Leader of the Opposition has taken any responsibility for the conduct of the Sydney Young Liberals and the attendance at this event of members of his frontbench?

Has he taken any responsibility for the conduct of members of his political party and members of his frontbench who apparently when the most vile things were being said about my family, raised no voice of objection? Nobody walked out of the room; no-one walked up to Mr Jones and said that this was not acceptable.

Instead of course, it was all viewed as good fun until it was run in a Sunday newspaper and then the Leader of the Opposition and others started ducking for cover.

Big on lectures of responsibility, very light on accepting responsibility himself for the vile conduct of members of his political party.

Third, Deputy Speaker, why the Leader of the Opposition should not be taken seriously on this motion.

The Leader of the Opposition and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition have come into this place and have talked about the Member for Fisher. Well, let me remind the Opposition and the Leader of the opposition party about their track record and association with the Member for Fisher.

I remind them that the National Party preselected the Member for Fisher for the 1984 election, that the National Party preselected the Member for Fisher for the 1987 election, that the Liberals preselected Mr Slipper for the 1993 election, then the 1996 election, then the 1998 election, then for the 2001 election, then for the 2004 election, then for the 2007 election and then for the 2010 election.

And across these elections, Mr Slipper enjoyed the personal support of the Leader of the Opposition. I remind the Leader of the Opposition that on 28 September 2010, following the last election campaign, when Mr Slipper was elected as Deputy Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition at that stage said this, and I quote.

He referred to the Member for Maranoa, who was also elected to a position at the same time, and then went on as follows: “And the Member for Fisher will serve as a fine complement to the Member for Scullin in the chair. I believe that the Parliament will be well-served by the team which will occupy the chair in this chamber. I congratulate the Member for Fisher, who has been a friend of mine for a very long time, who has served this Parliament in many capacities with distinction.”

The words of the Leader of the Opposition on record, about his personal friendship with Mr [Slipper], and on record about his view about Mr Slipper's qualities and attributes to be the Speaker.

No walking away from those words, they were the statement of the Leader of the Opposition then. I remind the Leader of the Opposition, who now comes in here and speaks about apparently his inability to work with or talk to Mr Slipper. I remind the Leader of the Opposition he attended Mr Slipper's wedding.

Did he walk up to Mr Slipper in the middle of the service and say he was disgusted to be there? Was that the attitude he took? No, he attended that wedding as a friend.

The Leader of the Opposition keen to lecture others about what they ought to know or did know about Mr Slipper. Well with respect, I'd say to the Leader of the Opposition after a long personal association including attending Mr Slipper's wedding, it would be interesting to know whether the Leader of the Opposition was surprised by these text messages.

He's certainly in a position to speak more intimately about Mr Slipper than I am, and many other people in this Parliament, given this long personal association.

Then of course the Leader of the Opposition comes into this place and says, and I quote, “Every day the Prime Minister stands in this Parliament to defend this Speaker will be another day of shame for this Parliament, another day of shame for a government which should already have died of shame.”

Well can I indicate to the Leader of the Opposition the Government is not dying of shame, my father did not die of shame, what the Leader of the Opposition should be ashamed of is his performance in this Parliament and the sexism he brings with it. Now about the text messages that are on the public record or reported in the – that's a direct quote from the Leader of the Opposition so I suggest those groaning have a word with him.

On the conduct of Mr Slipper, and on the text messages that are in the public domain, I have seen the press reports of those text messages. I am offended by their content. I am offended by their content because I am always offended by sexism. I am offended by their content because I am always offended by statements that are anti-women.

I am offended by those things in the same way that I have been offended by things that the Leader of the Opposition has said, and no doubt will continue to say in the future. Because if this today was an exhibition of his new feminine side, well I don't think we've got much to look forward to in terms of changed conduct.

I am offended by those text messages. But I also believe, in terms of this Parliament making a decision about the speakership, that this Parliament should recognise that there is a court case in progress. That the judge has reserved his decision, that having waited for a number of months for the legal matters surrounding Mr Slipper to come to a conclusion, that this Parliament should see that conclusion.

I believe that is the appropriate path forward, and that people will then have an opportunity to make up their minds with the fullest information available to them.

But whenever people make up their minds about those questions, what I won't stand for, what I will never stand for is the Leader of the Opposition coming into this place and peddling a double standard. Peddling a standard for Mr Slipper he would not set for himself. Peddling a standard for Mr Slipper he has not set for other members of his frontbench.

Peddling a standard for Mr Slipper that has not been acquitted by the people who have been sent out to say the vilest and most revolting things like his former Shadow Parliamentary Secretary Senator Bernardi.

I will not ever see the Leader of the Opposition seek to impose his double standard on this Parliament. Sexism should always be unacceptable. We should conduct ourselves as it should always be unacceptable. The Leader of the Opposition says do something; well he could do something himself if he wants to deal with sexism in this Parliament.

He could change his behaviour, he could apologise for all his past statements, he could apologise for standing next to signs describing me as a witch and a bitch, terminology that is now objected to by the frontbench of the Opposition.

He could change a standard himself if he sought to do so. But we will see none of that from the Leader of the Opposition because on these questions he is incapable of change. Capable of double standards, but incapable of change. His double standards should not rule this Parliament.

Good sense, common sense, proper process is what should rule this Parliament. That's what I believe is the path forward for this Parliament, not the kind of double standards and political game-playing imposed by the Leader of the Opposition now looking at his watch because apparently a woman's spoken too long.

I've had him yell at me to shut up in the past, but I will take the remaining seconds of my speaking time to say to the Leader of the Opposition I think the best course for him is to reflect on the standards he's exhibited in public life, on the responsibility he should take for his public statements; on his close personal connection with Peter Slipper, on the hypocrisy he has displayed in this House today.

And on that basis, because of the Leader of the Opposition's motivations, this Parliament today should reject this motion and the Leader of the Opposition should think seriously about the role of women in public life and in Australian society because we are entitled to a better standard than this.

鉅亨看世界─透支的西西里

鉅亨網黃欣  2012-10-19  07:31 


西西里島中部風光 (圖片來源:維基百科)

位於意大利西西里島 (Sicily) 東部的海邊小城 Giarre 曾是知名的葡萄酒運輸地,山坡上酒莊所釀好的酒,整桶整桶地沿路滾下來到港口裝船。不過今日, Giarre 形象不是太好,這個人口數只有 2.7 萬人的小城,有 25 項至今尚未完工的公共設施,是意大利全國最誇張的地區。

記者 Turi Caggegi 自 1990 年代以來就撰寫有關於政府浪費資源的報導,他列舉幾個例子:一座只建了部份、滿是塗鴉的戲劇院,開工後又暫停建設高達 12 次,什麼演出都沒舉辦過;一座花了 30 年才蓋好的醫院,等到能開幕時早已是過時的設計;一座比照奧運規格的泳池,但地上只有一個大水槽,目前仍未完工。「浪費這麼多錢,還不是花在有生產力的投資,只是拿來買票。」Caggegi 說。

《Businessweek》報導,2011 年,西西里自治政府年度預算 270 億歐元,結算時赤字 53 億歐元。今年,意大利中央政府刪減對地方政府補助,希望挽救國家預算赤字,而這個信用評級只比垃圾級好一點點的自治區正面臨破產邊緣。7 月份,當地商業團體領導人曾警告,西西里可能成為「意大利國內的希臘」,它的經濟問題可能拖累整個國家,導致違約。不過就像歐盟負擔不起讓希臘崩潰的代價,羅馬當局也必須拯救西西里。

況且,將西西里比做希臘,並不完全正確。西西里擔心的並不是經濟可能會突然崩坍,它的問題偏向政治面而非經濟面,就像意大利其他地方政府一樣。

■別人的錢花不完

西西里是意大利最富有的地方政府之一,統治著意大利半島南部的富庶地區。但在工業革命後,良田和果園的優勢不再,財富也轉往集中到意大利北部的工廠。這個轉變帶來許多痛苦,20 世紀初,約有 1/4 的西西里居民離鄉背井,到意大利其他地區或是海外尋找工作機會。在前往美國的移民潮中,絕大部份意大利人都來自於西西里及意大利南部地區。

當民間企業束手無策時,政府就有所發揮。1946 年起,西西里展開自治,有自己的議會和法律。一般而言,自決代表著責任,但在西西里卻是相反。西西里人上繳稅款給中央政府,中央會再把款項撥下來讓地方政府使用。1990 年代擔任西西里財政官員的 Francesco Piro 說,「人們的認知是,拿走他們錢的是中央政府,給他們東西的是地方政府。」

因此,西西里的政客們個個化身成送暖天使,帶來工作和各種好處,毫不擔心什麼叫浪費。著書論述西西里政府浪費情況的聯合作者 Enrico Del Mercato 指出,當政客們發現人民有需求時會說:「我會為你創造工作。」人們也就愈來愈依賴政客。同時,每項在中央國會通過的改革案,都需要在地方首府再通過一次,快則數月、慢則數年。

意大利各個地方政府都被要求打擊失業問題。在西西里,解決方法是靠汽車製造商飛雅特 (Fiat) (F-IT) 創造工作機會。不過地方政府也直接雇用了 18000 名人員──是人口比西西里多 1 倍的倫巴底 (Lombardy) 區雇員的 5 倍。此外,地方政府與各市政府雇用了數萬名短期員工,光是首府Palermo 市就雇了 2 萬人。地方政府也資助 8000 位講師進修,參加進修的教師和學生都有錢拿。

■創造就業

誇張的程度可以從 Palermo 市南邊約 1 小時車程的 Godrano 小鎮看出來。這個村子不靠海,有金色麥田、森林和中世紀古堡,人口只有 1247 人,是 190 位伐木工的家──這 190 個人都是政府雇員。從鎮長、副鎮長、鎮議會主席到觀光部主管,全都是伐木工。基本上這個村子只有兩種職業,伐木和畜牧。

法律有保障西西里伐木工每年的工作天數,但在淡季,他們也符合失業資格。西西里政府雇用了 2.5 萬位季節工人,以清理該地區 3.4 萬英畝森林內的樹叢,降低林火發生的機會。但是森林面積有 120 萬英畝的薩丁島(Sardinia),也才雇了 7000 人進行這項工作。

1996 年更誇張,西西里政府雇了 4 萬人來清理森林。地方議會眼看快要失控,於是限制了人數。不過後來政府仍想出了花錢的方法:增加工人的保障工作天數。Godrano 伐木工原本每年保障工作天數為 51 天,2006 年提高至 101 天,2009 年又提高至 151 天。

1990 年代,西西里政府發現要開除公家冗員很困難,政府便委託名義上是推動區域發展的公家機關 Resais 來雇用那些理應被開除的人。同時,地方政府又在當地做了許多不佳投資,包括紡織業、石油業、食品業等,在急於抽資之下,這些被結束的國營公司員工,就被「調動」到 Resais 去,再由 Resais 把人力派遣到地方政府辦公處、博物館、考古勘察場或公家設施。

在 2000 年的全盛時期,Resais 有 5000 名員工。該公司高層認為它的作用有如社福體系,若沒有 Resais,這些人都得流落街頭。雖然現在它的員工數已降至 300 人,但功能不變。最近是 33 個 Palermo Mediterranean Trade Fair 員工,在去年春季公司收掉時來到這裡。

■用工作打擊黑手黨

從某些角度來看,西西里的問題比過去都要嚴重。在 27 年前 Leoluca Orlando 當選 Palermo 市長以來,黑手黨就是最嚴重的問題。敵對家族火併,屍體隨意棄置不說,前任市長 Vito Ciancimino 還因詐欺、侵佔、與美國黑手黨共謀等罪名被捕。Orlando 接手後,取消可能與黑手黨有關聯公司的合作,鼓勵人們與店家起而與黑手黨對抗, 還監督在 Palermo 市區一項外觀有如碉堡的法院建築工程,檢察官在那兒審理幫派件,據信涉及 300 人。

為了展現市政廳的實力不下黑手黨,Orlando 雇用了數千名新員工,招募那些最易受到幫派誘惑的失業人們前來工作。到 2000 年他第 2 任任期結束時,暴力問題已經減少許多,西西里黑手黨退回地下,不再公然作亂。

去年春天,當 Palermo 市再度面臨危機,選民們又選了 Orlando 上台。就像西西里其他城市一樣,Palermo 的問題是經費不足。這是許多原因造成的:Orlando 首度上任時所雇用的臨時員工,絕大部份還在為市政府工作。9 月份,中央撥款沒有順利下來,1800 個未續約的臨時員工走上街頭抗議,他們占據大教堂,要求把工作還給他們。雇用這些抗議者的單位是負責市容維護的,但這個單位現在差不多變成了效率不彰的代名詞。總之,Orlando 火速前往羅馬要求中央撥款,他說,如果他裁了1000個人,就會發生內戰了。

7 月份, 意大利總理蒙提 (Monti wrote) 去信西西里自治區總理,表達對該地區財政狀況的「嚴重關切」,並得到承諾,該區會開始撙節支出。7 月下旬,政府宣布這個月的薪水和退休金都延後給付,因為要等待中央撥款。但過了兩個月,錢還沒下來。百姓們擔心如果就這樣拿不到錢,日子要怎麼過下去。若是像 Godrano 這樣的伐木小鎮,少 了政府的保障,恐怕他們也都要去外地找工作了。

經濟危機的壓力也使西西里出了名難搞的工會展現出一些彈性。代表 Palermo 市臨時雇員的工會呼籲重整工作人力,朝消除浪費及冗員的方面努力。工會總裁 Salvo Barone 說,經濟情況的確很糟,錢花完了,很多福利的時代也過去了。代表該地區伐木業者的工會則想了各種建議,讓工人們去維護西西里島上的考古勘察場、幫私人庭院除草,或是到森林裡收集製造生質能源的碎屑等。

■略施小惠 遺害多年

西西里島的問題在全意大利都有,只不過這裡比較極端。在歐債危機發生之前,意大利全國就已經在往無力償債的方向移動了。在歐豬5國的其他4個國家──葡萄牙、愛爾蘭、希臘與西班牙努力削減人力支出並重新尋求生產力時,意大利的人力成本依然節節上揚。

蒙提在增稅和削減退休金方面的決策,或許讓意大利免於面臨財政懸崖,但他能做的也就是這樣。若要推動勞工改革法案,需要數個月的時間才能在國會通過,等通過之後,企業也不見得把它當一回事。這裡的貪腐醜聞層出不窮,欲與之對抗的法案卻一直被擱置著。明年 4 月,意大利將進行參眾兩院的國會選舉,可想而知在大選前,不會有什麼重要的法案通過。

在海邊小城 Giarre,有座可容納 2 萬名觀眾的馬球場也是建設到一半停工,這裡的觀眾席數跟全城人口數差不多,但一匹馬也沒有。順著只灌好漿的粗糙水泥階梯走上來觀眾席,往下看是橢圓形的跑道;露天看台上鋪以圓潤的黑色鵝卵石,但空隙間已經長滿了草。其實眼前的風景還是挺不錯,一邊是火山、一邊是海洋,只不過在生活都將成問題的時候,美景又有何用呢?(文:黃欣)

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