Fri, 7 Sep, 2018Basmah Qazi

"That is unacceptable": Defiant Georgie Gardener grills politicians on Today show

 "That is unacceptable": Defiant Georgie Gardener grills politicians on Today show

When Anthony Albanese and Christopher Pyne were getting ready to start their day this morning, they probably weren’t expecting to be grilled by Today show host Georgie Gardner, who questioned the pair on the parliament's toxic culture.

The host started off with a poll, which over 13,000 Facebook users had participated in. The results showed that a whopping 94 per cent of voters said they did not trust politicians – with only 780 people saying they did.

Former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop made headlines this week as her speech at the Australian Women’s Weekly Women of the Future awards highlighted the bullying culture and gender inequality amongst political parties. Bishop said that Australia’s political parties needed to “recognise they have a problem in attracting and maintaining women, diversity in general".

Bishop also spoke about the recent resignation of Liberal MP Julia Banks due to the constant bullying she was faced with.

“When a feisty, amazing woman like Julia Banks says this environment is not for me, don’t say ‘toughen up princess’, say ‘enough is enough’,” she said.

On the Today show, Georgie addressed the issue at hand and asked the ministers how they planned to change that environment.

“Politics is a robust business and they need to start getting more modern and up with the times. People expect a different workplace and the antagonism between government and people have been a feature of politics for a very long time — for 118 years,” Pyne said.

“The last couple of weeks and last five years, as Anthony points out, to 10 years as I said before, has taken things to a new level. We need to recognise that.”

Georgie then proceeded to question whether politicians were the problem and if it was because they refused to believe the victims of bullying.

“The problem is you are not recognising it and Julia Banks, her allegations were dismissed as scuttlebutt, innuendo and rumour,” she said.

“That is unacceptable.”

It was when Christopher suggested that those in parliament “need to grow up,” did Georgie fire back.

“More than grow up, I would suggest, I would suggest start respecting women. I mean, can you imagine what woman would want to enter politics these days?” she said.

Scott Morrison headed to Albury on the NSW-Victorian Border – the place the Liberal party was founded by Robert Menzies – and made his first official speech as Prime Minister.

“This is an important ritual, for us to come here today, where Robert Menzies came, all those years ago … Robert Menzies brought them here to unite them about what they believed in, because you can’t just be about what you’re opposed to,” Morrison said.

But it was the PM’s reference to a government from almost a 100 years ago that riled Georgie up.

“Just on that speech from our new Prime Minister — who we didn’t vote for — yesterday,” Georgie said.

“Christopher, it talked about a new generation of Liberal leadership. But it didn’t outline any new course of action but was harking back to the golden era of the Menzies government.

“That is gone. That is done. We want to hear of a progressive government. Forward thinking. Give our kids hope.”

Do you agree with Georgie Gardner's views on our current state of politics? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.