Why Mal Brough Still Needs to Stand Down

It’s all a bit sad, really, when you look at the state of politics in Australia right now. A re-hashed sexist joke on a menu is making headlines around the world, and our politicians have become a laughing stock. Whichever story you believe – and there’s a dizzying amount of side-stepping and reversing on facts about MENU-GATE – the simple fact remains – that Liberal National Party candidate Mal Brough should step down.

Liberal National Party candidate Mal Brough

Liberal National Party candidate Mal Brough

Regardless of whether the Julia Gillard MENU MONSTROSITY was actually on tables on the night of a fundraiser for Mal Brough, or not – the shameful fact is, that the rest of the world believes it was.

Just check online and you’ll see. It’s all over The Guardian and the BBC in the UK, The Huffington Post in the US, The India Times and in Canada. Makes you proud to be Australian, doesn’t it?

The 'alleged' fundraiser menu

The ‘alleged’ fundraiser menu

Just in case you haven’t read about it by now, the menu designed for this Liberal National Party fundraiser listed one dish as  “Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail Small Breasts, Huge Thighs, and a Big Red Box”. Hilary Clinton copped a similarly crude Kentucky joke back in 1993 – except hers also included a line about taxes. It’s downright revolting.


The big question for me is why was Mal Brough apologising for the menu yesterday morning – denouncing it as ‘offensive and inappropriate’ – but then took another TEN hours to bring the restaurant owner into the scandal to claim the menu was never distributed on the night? Why didn’t Mal say that in the first place? The public can’t help but help question his credibility when such a time difference smacks of slamming the gate shut after the chicken has flown the coop? What kind of representative of the people will he be if he can’t manage a crisis and stop a tsunami of global outrage?

It was also the words he used to describe the ‘incident’ that were offensive. That the person who wrote the menu thought it was ‘humorous’ and ‘didn’t mean any harm by it’ massively downplays the seriousness of the offence. It shows support for the ‘Boys Club’ mentality, where it’s just considered a bit of fun and a joke to denigrate women and their body parts. Guys, really? Yes, we have breasts and vaginas and you have penises and back-hair, but can we stop laughing about it, get dressed, grow a brain and get back to work?

Regardless of your political persuasion, it should also be regarded as highly offensive to insult the head of our country – OUR PRIME MINISTER – in such a disgusting and sexist manner.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard

Prime Minister Julia Gillard

The Prime Minister says the Opposition should dump Mr Brough as the candidate for the Queensland seat of Fisher, over what she describes as a ‘grossly sexist and offensive’ fundraising menu. I’m not sure whether she’ll change her tune after hearing the restaurateur’s side of the story, but again, he spoke up just a little too late. Let’s get with the program guys – we all understand social networking, don’t we?

Even if the restaurateur’s story is true, many voters won’t buy it. To prove otherwise, Mal needs to hold a media conference with all guests who attended the function, swearing under oath that the menus were never sighted. And that will never happen. So Mal Brough, whether he likes it or not, has just served Labor a gold-coated ten-metre high croquembouche on a giant platter.

Christ, even former prime minister Kevin Rudd, for once, is publicly standing by his leader. At last, a small show of unity and respect, although no doubt the on-going and damaging rumours about a threat to Ms Gillard’s leadership will continue.

Like Mr Rudd, I’m highly sceptical of Mr Brough’s ignorance. ‘He knew what he was doing, he got sprung, he got found out, and now he’s trying to run a million miles away,’ said Kev.

What’s even more surprising is that Tony Abbott is standing by his man. He’s condemned the menu but says it shouldn’t cast any doubt on Mr Brough’s preselection for Fisher. REALLY? Really, Tony?

Liberal National Party candidate Mal Brough

Liberal National Party candidate Mal Brough

C’mon… Surely Tony must want to kick Mr Brough’s posterior from here to the furthest soup kitchen in Kentucky? His handling of the affair just gave Ms Gillard more ammunition to let the world know (again) what a sexist party Mr Abbott is leading. She described the menu debacle as following a ‘pattern’ from the Liberal Party.

‘Mr Abbott’s solution to this pattern of behaviour is not to show any leadership. I mean, he’s effectively stood by Mr Brough,’ she said.

There’s been strong condemnation of Joel Madden being busted with five grams of marijuana in his hotel. Not smart, but at least he had the decency to keep his misdemeanours behind closed doors.

Now there’s a scary thought. What would the cops find if they raided Mal’s place? I’m not suggesting a drugs scandal, but they might just uncover an ancient box set of ‘The Benny Hill Show’ lying next to the ‘Dummies Guide to Politics’.


IKEA Survival Tips

Ikea Richmond

Ikea Richmond


If you’re anything like me, then the mere thought of visiting that massive maze IKEA, leaves you reaching for the whiskey bottle. I’d rather watch Tony Abbott attempting a Baywatch sprint along the beach in his budgie smugglers than go anywhere near the place. (Actually, that might be overstating it a tad…)


Past experience has taught me that you never escape IKEA in less than two hours, by which stage you’re tearing your hair out with frustration after getting stuck in the maze that is its furniture display area, fighting through harried crowds of similarly frustrated customers, then arriving home with a load of junk you never intended buying and swearing you’ll never go back. It’s even worse than trying to shop at an Aldi supermarket.

Fletch with fellow Neighbours actors Saskia Hampele

Fletch with fellow Neighbours actors Saskia Hampele

With Fletch being in the UK, I decided to freshen up his office to surprise him on his return. (It’s okay – he’s on a plane now so won’t read this before getting home.) After much research, the best option for a new rug – taking price, size and colour into account – was… sadly… IKEA.

A bit unfair when you think about it. He flies overseas, swanning around presenting prizes at the British Soap Awards while I get stuck with a visit to IKEA.

But the desire to renovate was stronger than my IKEA-phobia, so I decided not to let the place defeat me. I’d make a cunning plan and come out tops.


And GUESS WHAT? The plan actually WORKED!! I managed to get in and out of that vast wasteland of consumerism in FIFTEEN MINUTES. I was very up myself about this record-breaking feat, so tweeted the fact and was met with a big reaction – meaning LOTS of you guys related to the trauma of an IKEA visit. So I thought it best to Blog my tips to help you all when you next take the plunge.


1. Do your research before heading to the store. Jump on the Internet and work out which items you need and write down the details. Then phone the store to check they are in stock.

2. Do not take small children with you.

3. Wear runners – not heels – you need to make some quick crowd-busting moves.

4. Try to plan your trip mid-week when fewer customers will be vying for attention from sales staff.

Try NOT to go through the showroom

Try NOT to go through the showroom

5. Accost the front-of-store help-person on arrival to verify the location of the goods you’re looking for. If you’re in luck, you can TAKE A SHORT CUT and head straight to the MARKET HALL section, by-passing the entire furniture display area. This will save you at least half an hour. I was in luck yesterday as all I needed was a rug.

6. If you can’t see your item immediately, accost another sales person to help you otherwise you’ll waste precious time wandering around.

7. DO NOT STOP to look at any other items that grab your attention. They are NOT on your list. STICK TO YOUR LIST.

8. When you have all your items, head to the self-checkout service section, which is much, MUCH quicker than queuing for a checkout assistant to process your purchases.

Sprinting with a load...

Sprinting with a load…

9. Sprint to the car so that hopefully you will make it out of the car-park in under an hour, which means parking is FREE.

10. Congratulate yourself on being such a smart, efficient shopper and head home for that whiskey.

See – you can actually visit IKEA without having a nervous breakdown!!

The old stained rug

The old stained rug


And what a difference the rug made to Fletch’s office. Just over a year ago, we’d rearranged rooms and somehow, he’d ended up with an old faded, stained pink rug that used to be in Veronica’s room when she was little. Well past it’s use-by date…


Fletch's new rug - on sale for just $149

Fletch’s new rug – on sale for just $149


What an improvement! A clean, cream rug to lighten up a dull space. And it was on sale too.

And in case you’re wondering, yes, that is a spare bed in his office. Just in case he’s in the doghouse or snoring too loudly. A girl’s got to be prepared…