After Scott Morrison’s first full party meeting since becoming Prime Minister, he sought advice from Julie Bishop.
The former foreign minister, who he had defeated in the leadership spill just weeks beforehand, had 11 years of experience as the Liberal deputy and extensive knowledge of fundraising, looking after the backbench and keeping foreign affairs in order.
But Morrison didn’t need help with any of this. What he did need was the phone number of Australian singer-songwriter Tina Arena.
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He was going to her show, you see, and he wanted to let her know. It was very important.
ABC political journalist and commentator Annabel Crabb told Mamamia’s new podcast The Quicky this story – shared by Sydney Morning Herald political editor Peter Hartcher – is just one glaring example of how women are treated in politics.
“It doesn’t on its own mean anything, but in the history of Julie Bishop, who is probably the most impressive minister of this coalition government who has spent 11 years as the party’s deputy, travelling around, fundraising, looking after the backbench, being an emotionally intelligent force in that party, for her to not really receive an emotionally intelligent treatment in return is one of the great deficits,” Crabb told host Claire Murphy.
“Her story, just like Julia Gillard’s story, fills in gaps in our understanding of what happens to women in politics, and if we’re smart, provides us with signposts about how we change things.”
Julie Bishop was a contender for the Liberal leadership – and therefore Prime Ministership – following last year’s Liberal leadership spill.