This week Opposition Leader Tony Abbott made another comment about women which according to the Labor Party, reinforced the view that he is a misogynst. On the campaign trail, he was asked what he thought about the Liberal Party candidate for Penrith Fiona Scott and her predecessor, Jackie Kelly.
Tony Abbott and Fiona Scott
"They're young, they're feisty, I think I can probably say have a bit of sex appeal and they are just very, very connected to the local area" he said.
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Yesterday, Melbourne radio host Tom Elliott asked Mark Latham what he thought about Abbott's "sex appeal" comment. He replied:
It showed very bad judgment and it shows he has low standards. I had a good look at Fiona Scott on page 8 of the Australian today and she doesn't have sex appeal at all. She's not that good a sort. She's a rather plain, ordinary-looking woman and Abbott has exaggerated massively to try and win her vote among the blokes......Tony had the beer goggles on and in politics they say it's showbiz for the ugly people and I don't think she'll be out of place. He's gilding the lilly here, he must have had his beer goggles on."
"That's worse than what Tony Abbott said" the radio host said "You just can't call a woman plain like that."
But Mark Latham can and does quite often - that's what he's famous for. He's an angry man and an unpredictable loose canon. He was once the leader of the Labor Party and when John Howard beat him at the polls, he had a personal meltdown and resigned in a huff, citing health problems and blaming his colleagues, the media, and anyone else he could think of for his demise, because it wasn't his fault.
Jeff Kennett, a former Liberal Premier of Victoria, had the guts to stand up and tell the world he suffered from depression and said that Latham's erratic behaviour which contributed to his political downfall was symptomatic of bi-polar disorder - extreme mood swings caused by depression. Latham was furious and demanded an apology which Kennett gave through The Age newspaper. He wrote:
My comments were not made based on my knowledge of Mark Latham's health, but on my considerable observations and dealings with people with depressive illnesses over the last eight years. I did not seek to harm or embarrass Mark Latham in any way and apologise for any hurt my comments have caused him or his family. I also withdraw my comments, as he requested.
You might wonder why a failed Labor leader is still constantly sought after by the media. It's because he's good value. Wherever he goes, as a guest on Q & A or on Fox News, he's always interesting and never boring. He says outrageous things that nobody else would be game enough to say.
He said that the people at Fox News, namely award-winning journalist David Speers, Kieran Gilbert, Chris Kenny, Peter van Olselen and Graham Richardson made more mistakes than the Australian batting line-up in India and Sky's viewers would have been more accurately informed if the station had simply broadcast a test pattern.
Professor Peter Van Olselen
But this time he's gone too far, he's insulted a young woman who didn't deserve it and he should take Kennett's advice, and seek help.