Politics Analysis

Landry Labor ‘bullying’ claim a lame media grab

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(Image by Dan Jensen)

The recent Labor "bullying" claims are just another publicity stunt to add to the great Liberal gaslit bonfire of bullshit, writes managing editor Michelle Pini.

“Mathematics allows for no hypocrisy and no vagueness.”

~ Stendhal
19th-Century French writer

Stendhal’s claim is supported when one considers the mathematics behind the Landry Labor bullying claims, which simply don’t add up.

Deputy Opposition Leader Sussan Ley, introduced the performance by claiming Liberal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry had: 

“…left the chamber in tears and in a state of high distress. I ask you [Speaker of the House] to review the video of the Prime Minister, his response to the Member for Capricornia and review the appropriateness of the tone of that response.”

Landry then appeared to detail her "bullying" claim for the benefit of the waiting cameras at a media conference.

Flanked by approximately 11 Liberal Party women looking suitably outraged and calling out “Hear, hear!” at appropriate intervals – Landry accused Prime Minister Albanese and the entire Labor Party, including the women (because let’s not stop at one accusation), of humiliating her in the chamber during Question Time.

Warming to her story, Landry added that it wasn’t the first time she’d been humiliated by Labor and that a smear campaign had even been launched in her electorate.

Landry then thanked her fellow female ensemble cast – which consisted of most of the female Liberal MPs plus at least one senator cameo (Bridget McKenzie), since there are only nine Liberal Party women plus one National in the House of Reps – for standing with her before adding:

“They’re a mob of hypocrites if they can say that everything is so wonderful on the Left. Well it’s not! They treat us appallingly … bullying! …Left! … no respect!… bullying! [and so on].”

The little performance did, however, stop short of all those present ripping off their bras in feminine solidarity.


Now, we do not wish to dismiss bullying out of hand and so we will just, as Prime Minister Albanese suggested to a Sky News interviewer, “show the footage” of what occurred here:

And it doesn’t only look to us as though Albo has no case to answer, pretty much anyone watching the footage can see he was addressing Opposition Leader Peter Dutton, whose attempt to correct the PM on Queensland geography – “Yeppoon” versus Yeppen – failed spectacularly.

It is clear from the video footage that Landry was also laughing at the absurdity of Dutton’s intervention and Albanese’s response to him.

Nonetheless, Speaker of the House Milton Dick also reviewed said footage and pronounced that there was no case of bullying:

"I did not see the Prime Minister show any disrespect to the Member for Capricornia."

Well, we didn't see Landry leave the chamber "in tears", either, but we did see that she did so after laughing heartily at Albanese's geography lesson aimed at Dutton and shortly after receiving a text message from a person or persons unknown. 

As already established, the maths does not suffer hypocrisy but before we look at the incidences of utter contempt displayed by the previous Liberal Party PM and his band of misogynists toward women (both within and outside parliament), let’s just point out here that it was Landry who invoked the hypocrisy card, as well as the feminist card.


So, what do actual bullying and misogyny look like?

Here are a few examples straight from the Liberal Party playbook:

  • Former Liberal Prime Minister Scott Morrison frequently turned his back on Opposition women asking questions in the chamber;
  • he refused to meet women protesting domestic violence, instead firing veiled threats of meeting them with bullets; 
  • ScoMo ignored the rape in Parliament House of Brittany Higgins and the allegations of rape against his Attorney-General, Christian Porter;
  • the former PM publicly humiliated Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate until she resigned; and 
  • female Liberal Party MPs described him as "menacing" and "controlling". 

This all occurred during Michelle Landry's time in parliament. She was also in parliament and remained publicly mute, along with her female Liberal Party peers, during Tony Abbott's blatant misogyny towards former Prime Minister Julia Gillard. 

Apart from being clearly hypocritical, the Member for Capricornia's recent stunt, coming as it did after she was caught on camera laughing at the supposed "bullying" she suffered, simply demeans these women and every other person who has suffered bullying and harassment. 


Ignoring the mathematics, most of Australia's usual mainstream media suspects just picked up the manufactured bullying line and ran with it anyway, which is the point after all.

Because Dutton, Ley and the B Grade ensemble cast that is today's Liberal Party is now so irrelevant that any publicity, no matter that it is confected, no matter that there is not a shred of truth in the great gaslit bonfire of bullshit, is still publicity. And if there's one thing this Coalition cast is good at, it's performance art. 

This is an abridged version of an editorial originally published in the IA weekly newsletter. Subscribe now to read the full version online in the IA members-only area.

Follow IA managing editor Michelle Pini on Twitter @vmp9. Follow Independent Australia on Twitter @independentaus and on Facebook HERE.

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