Julia Gillard: kick-ass PM


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The Independent Online

It's perhaps not the most likely YouTube clip to go viral across the English-speaking world. Indeed, a 15-minute speech in the Australian House of Representatives would normally struggle to compete with Cat Dances with Hamster. But an extraordinary demolition job by Aussie PM Julia Gillard on Liberal leader Tony Abbott has made for unmissable viewing.

Gillard was incensed at Abbott's criticisms of Speaker Peter Slipper (who'd been accused of sending sexist tweets). Gillard pointed out the hypocrisy of Abbott's denunciation of Slipper's misogyny by spending quarter of an hour reminding Abbott of his own not-too-handy history of sexism. (He once told the unmarried Gillard she should "make an honest woman of herself".)

Gillard's kicking began with the immaculate put-down "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." It continued with dozens of examples of why Abbott ought to keep his trap shut. The opposition leader was forced to sit there as if the front bench in Parliament was a leather-upholstered Naughty Step. Brilliant. Watch: bit.ly/gillardspeech