1st Mar 2012

Show a little respect

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Drew Patchell

Sources for The Age newspaper claimed yesterday that Victorian Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella told 68-year-old NSW Liberal senator and farmer Bill Heffernan at the weekly Coalition meeting ‘Why don't you go and pop your Alzheimer's pills’.

I still remember when an influential person in my life, nearly 12 years ago, described politicians as gorillas at the zoo and that they will inevitably, in almost any discussion, end up throwing their own poo at each other. While I think the analogy was a little harsh, after observing politicians over the past ten years, I have some sympathy for their position. Many debates end up in name calling, swearing and inappropriate comments as demonstrated by Sophie Mirabella’s comments to Bill Heffernan.

Sophie Mirabella’s comment was grossly insulting, ageist and unnecessary to say the least. The average Australian would never say something so disrespectful about a work colleague to their face, or in front of their peers. However, we really shouldn’t be surprised by the comments, as Ms Mirabella did compare Prime Minister Julia Gillard to Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. I do have grave concerns for our country ‘moving forward’ if the Coalition take over the country in the next election and Ms Mirabella becomes the Minister for Innovation, Industry and Science.

Ms Mirabella, please show your colleagues and the Australian people the same respect you would want to receive in turn and stop such ageist comments immediately!





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