Category: Twitter Brawls

Albanese admitted his leading role in the deposing of Gillard on Election Night…..

By Kate Doak.
By Kate Doak.

Earlier today, the following exchange between Barrie Cassidy and The Hon. Anthony Albanese took place about loyalty on the ABC’s Insiders program, in relation to The Hon. Kevin Rudd and the overthrow of Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard earlier this year.  This statement by Mr Albanese is in stark contrast to his comments on the night of the 2013 Federal Election, about Former Prime Minister Gillard’s disposal back in June.

BARRIE CASSIDY: Further on the question of loyalty, can you say hand on heart you knew nothing of the destabilisation and the undermining that was going on against Julia Gillard?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Of course not. Everyone knew about it Barrie, it was in the paper.

BARRIE CASSIDY: Yes but you knew beyond what was written in the paper and you knew who was doing the undermining?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Everyone knew what was going on, Barrie, everyone knew it. The question is do you involve yourself in it? And certainly I didn’t. I was of the view, I was of the view very strongly, that we should concentrate on taking up the challenge to the opposition.

And I think now what we need to do is actually look to the future. We need to draw a line in the sand under this and we need to unite and move forward with whoever is the leader Barrie.

BARRIE CASSIDY: OK, but you say you knew it was going on. You heard talk of the cardinals, the group that called themselves the cardinals, Kim Carr, Joel Fitzgibbon and Richard Marles, that was Rudd’s core group of supporters. Why didn’t you go to them at some point and say “This has to stop”?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well, Barrie, the fact is, going over history, everyone knew this was going on. What my job was, each and every day, Barrie, I was leader of the house, minister for infrastructure and transport, minister for regional Australia and local government. I frankly, Barrie, had enough on my plate arguing against our political opponents. That was what I concentrated on each and every day.

What we need to do is to make sure that every member of the caucus moving forward does just that, Barrie.

BARRIE CASSIDY: You could have done more surely. And the suspicion is you didn’t want to because, as Pam Williams wrote in the Financial Review, that you were a secret cardinal. What do you say to that?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well, Barrie, that’s just not the case. Pam Williams didn’t bother to speak to me about any of those articles.

Now this is a particularly interesting series of commentss by Mr Albanese, given that at the Cyprus Club in Stanmore on Election Night he confirmed off-the-cuff on stage and on camera, that he had purposefully been undermining former Prime Minister Gillard in the weeks and months prior to her removal from the ALP Leadership only a couple of months ago. Needless to say, the campaign to replace Prime Minister Gillard earlier this year was anything but positive, according to Mr Albanese.

Mr Albanese: One of the lessons the Labor Party needs to learn and needs to show in the coming weeks, days and weeks, is that when we talk about ourselves, people switch off. We need to talk about Australians and what is of interest to them. And when we are not united, when we are not united, we will be punished for it.

Read more

Troll Wars, Haters and the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

By Kate Doak.
By Kate Doak.

I don’t normally engage in troll wars, though given that a close friend of mine has been the target of systematic abuse throughout International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (aka IDAHO), I’m going to break that little rule for once.

Throughout yesterday and today, the following transphobic abuse has been hurled at Lt Colonel Catherine McGregor, via a person claiming to be Phillip Maguire. As a lot of you would know, there was a Phillip Maguire at the Herald Sun throughout the 1990’s, who then supposedly went on to be a farmer in the Victorian High Country.

Here’s a taste of what Phillip Maguire has written below, in full.


Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 5.41.57 PM


The ‘ladyfriend” strikes back.

A few weeks ago I had some words to say about Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and his sensitive new age approach to an ‘old mate who has morphed into a new lady friend.”

Today I received correspondence from that new lady friend and I thought I may as well share it with you. The writer is Lt Col Malcolm AKA Cate McGregor or should we call him “cateypie” after his email addy.

Cateypie wrote:

Hey tough guy-see you had a few sneering comments to make about me after the Janet Albrechtsen column. You know nothing of me beyond your prejudice.Feel free to pass this on your six followers. Ever done day’s military service or does culling rabbits represent the extent of your ticker? I’ll run my record of service and decency against you any day. Call yourself a Christian? You make me puke. Hope you get to Canberra some time-unlike you I don’t hide behind hash tags and mons de plume. Drop in a tell me how I should live my life. Good luck with the cattle-don’t see you cutting it as a ‘journalist.” Cate McGregor”

Now that seems a macho brand of correspondence which only serves to reinforce my opinion that McGregor is not remotely female, but is actually autogynephilic meaning he is a man who is in love with the image of himself as a woman.

Needless to say he didn’t evoke any kind of sympathetic reponse. Here is my reply.

You’ve got a problem, girly boy. It’s called a paraphilia and you have never had either the personal strength of character or the guts to face up to it and get over it. You’re a disgrace and an embarrassment to the Australian Armed Forces. What’d they do with your knackers? Stick ’em in a bottle for you to display on your mantelpiece? I don’t hide behind hash tags and noms de plume. I say what needs to be said and I say it in my own name, unlike you who uses a name that belongs to the opposite sex. You love your mirror, girly boy, and that’s essentially all you care about. You’re like a moth to the light. It’s tragic really – such unrequited love of self.

Read more

“Cracking the Whip” over political flame wars…

By Kate Doak.
By Kate Doak.

Last night I noticed part of a running battle on Twitter between Peter Van Onselen, Peter Phelps MLC (Liberals Whip) and The Honourable Premier of NSW, Barry O’Farrell.

After a bit of too-ing and fro-ing between the “Pair of Peters” over the issue of professionalism in both the media and politics, the Premier started “Cracking the Whip” a little after it started looking like Phelps was just trying to provoke an incident with a journalist for the fun of it.


Screen Shot 2013-04-01 at 1.29.18 AM

Screen Shot 2013-04-01 at 1.31.59 AM









To which Phelps replied:

Screen Shot 2013-04-01 at 1.35.54 AM






Now while “flame-wars” may appear to be a lot of fun, more often than not they only end in tears and a whole world of professional hurt for all parties involved.  Given that Van Onselen has deleted all of but a handful of tweets on his account again due to the drama, it’s not hard to see that what was going on yesterday touched a few nerves with him.  Needless to say, there’s a few lessons to be learned from incidents like this for both journalists, politicians and the general public alike.

These include –

  1. Don’t make things personal:  Regardless of a person’s position in a political party, profession or society in general, everyone has feelings and those feelings can be hurt. More often than not, more opportunities are lost than gained when somebody decides to take disagreements to a personal level in public. Australian politicians, journalists and the general public are particularly guilty of this one on occasion.  Also just because people disagree on some issues, doesn’t mean that we’re not similar on others. e.g. The ALP/Green/Coalition Parliamentary Friends of LGBTI Australians Group in Canberra.
  2. Once something is published online, assume someone has a copy of it:  While it’s possible to delete a tweet, there’s plenty of programs and websites around today that can allow people to make a copy of anything you put online as soon as you publish it. From Google Cache through to PolitWoops, it isn’t hard to see what public figures have tweeted and then deleted if you know where to look.
  3. People have long memories, especially when they are offended:  More often than not, people will remember grudges longer than what they will remember happy occasions. While sometimes sharp words need to be spoken, don’t burn your bridges over something that in the grand scheme of things is only of minor significance (if that) in the long-term.
  4. Don’t be a “Keyboard Warrior” during conversations:  In the digital telecommunications era, the Internet is just as real a world as the physical one we live in everyday and will become more so over the coming decades. If you wouldn’t say something to somebody’s face, then you haven’t got an excuse to say it online. This goes for both “flame wars” and ordinary disagreements that occur both online and in the non-virtual world.


So while I’m not taking sides in this little dispute (both Peters are adults and can look after themselves anyway), there’s a lot that we can all learn from such encounters when they occur. By learning from and admitting our mistakes in both the real and virtual worlds, we can learn from such incidents and become better people as a result from them if we try hard enough.




Hope + Politics + Culture = Twitter Wars

Last Friday morning there was a little war of words between Mark Textor (of Crosby|Textor) and Chris Murphy (of Murphy’s Lawyers) on Twitter that made me sit back and get all philosophical for a moment. As the day wore on, the tension between the two men developed as follows:
















Now normally I don’t get involved with online brawls on Twitter, regardless of the topic that’s at hand. That’s predominantly because I think of such arguments as the adult equivalent of primary school “sword-fights” in the boys toilets. While the use of that particular metaphor is rather gross, it is an accurate description of the psychology behind most of the fights that occur on social media and also in real life on a daily basis.  Needless to say, I steadfastly refuse to take sides in such brawls as well.

After reflecting upon how quickly the nature of this conversation turned ugly for a while though, from a purely academic standpoint I started to wonder if the current political environment within Canberra is really as toxic as some people make out, or if it only appears that way simply because that’s how we want it to be. That in turn made me wonder if politicians are really as embittered as we think they are, or if the blind ideological battles between some elements of the electorate have turned their images into unrealistic caricatures of what no human being could ever be possibly like.

Now as many of you know, I recently produced a radio documentary for FBi Radio’s “All The Best” program on the “Parliamentary Friends of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Australians” group within Parliament House, as well as its co-chairs from both the Greens, Labor and the Coalition.  Given the amount of content that I was able to produce for both this documentary and others while I was down there, I decided to put a few of the concepts that I referenced above to the test.

Read more