A LITTLE over two years ago, freshly installed in the Prime Minister’s office and with Kevin Rudd’s blood still damp on the carpet, Julia Gillard made no bones about plying her admirers in the press corps with cheat sheets of quotes to be used against her opposite number:
Meanwhile, Ms Gillard has not denied reports that Labor has been giving journalists lists of past quotes made by Mr Abbott on various subjects.Gillard had an eager go-fer in this effort, her ally, intimate and chief dirt-distributor Craig Emerson, whose own words from his maiden speech would seem every bit as worth recalling – especially this week, when the general wretchedness of men and female saintliness remain very much in the news:
"They're quotes of Mr Abbott, they're things that he's said," she said.
"Australians are entitled to know Mr Abbott's words.
"We make his words available. If he's embarrassed by them that's too bad. He said them.”
I thank our children—Ben, Tom and Laura—for the joy they are bringing to us. And I want to express my love for my wife, Cathy, who has nurtured our family, stood resolutely in support of my aspirations at great personal sacrifice and who deserves to achieve her own goals and fulfilment with my total support.
The speech was delivered in 1998, with the Emersons looking on proudly from the gallery.
One wonders if they stayed for the maiden speech by a colleague, also newly elected, of their devoted husband and father.