December 06, 2003


"Violence towards one person is violence towards all humanity," says Australian Democrats leader Andrew Bartlett. "And we need to address it not just on a global scale. We have to try and stop world-wide conflict, and we need to address it on an individual level."

On Thursday night, Bartlett addressed it on an individual level with Liberal Senator Jeannie Ferris:

A drunken Democrats Leader Andrew Bartlett physically assaulted Liberal Party Whip Jeannie Ferris in the Senate chamber, calling her a "f------ bitch", she alleged last night.

Lurching was also involved:

Senators, including fellow Democrat Lyn Allison, watched in horror as the purple-shirted and purple-faced party leader lurched at Senator Ferris, grabbed her then hurled abuse.

The trouble began when Bartlett, possibly in a bid to stop world-wide conflict, stole five bottles of wine from a Liberal Party barbecue:

It is believed Senator Ferris and Government staffers followed Senator Bartlett back to his office, where a confrontation ensued. Four of the five bottles of wine were returned, although it is understood one of the bottles had been opened and was already partly consumed.

A little later that night, shortly after a vote on the higher-education reforms, Senator Bartlett approached Senator Ferris in the chamber.

Which is where the grabbing and the abuse and the lurching took place. I’d say this is the end of Bartlett’s political career ... but what political career?

UPDATE. Bartlett has stood aside as Democrats leader. Shiver at the possible return of Natasha Stott Despoja.

UPDATE II. It might be time for Senator Bartlett to visit a facility for the thirsty:

Now national president of Senator Lees' breakaway Australian Progressive Alliance, Mr Woodley said it was ironic and tragic that Senator Ferris bore the brunt of the episode.

"Some months ago she learned I was in Canberra and came and spoke to me and asked if there was some way I could help Senator Bartlett with his problem," Mr Woodley said.

"I would hope that this would be sufficient warning for him to go and get some serious treatment."

Posted by Tim Blair at December 6, 2003 02:59 PM

So he's a thief, a drunkard, and a bully who assaults women.

Well, maybe it was just a momentary lapse of reason, caused by too much ethanol. It can happen to the best of us, though most of us just make fools of ourselves, we don't engage in larceny or beat people up. If this is a one-off, it maybe can be forgiven, if he gives up the grog. Permanently.

But... the fact that he's campaigned long and hard against the evils of binge-drinking and violence against women means he's a greasy little hypocrite when sober. And that should neither be forgiven nor forgotten.

Posted by: Alan E Brain at December 6, 2003 at 03:20 PM

"Queensland Senator Andrew Bartlett, leader of the Australian Democrats, is a graduate of the University of Queensland, where he majored in English and Sociology, Bartlett worked first as a Department of Social Security social worker. "

This explains the terms he used - a highly developed use of the english language and an obvious knowledge of the social position of women - f____ b____ is quite impressive for one of his background and education! At least he didn't grope her... bye bye Andrew....

Posted by: Rob at December 6, 2003 at 03:29 PM

So he's a thief, a drunkard, and a bully who assaults women.

Uday's and Qusay's long lost cousin?

Posted by: Andjam at December 6, 2003 at 03:55 PM

Hilarious. Did he puke in the punchbowl? And have someone count the spoons...

Posted by: mojo at December 6, 2003 at 03:58 PM

Ladies and gentlemen, a round of applause for the new leader of the Australian Labour Party.

Posted by: Clem Snide at December 6, 2003 at 04:23 PM

"Ditch the Bitch!, umm err Bastard!".

How many leaders of the Dumocrats do we need to go through before Australia realises how FUBAR they all are?

Posted by: jon at December 6, 2003 at 04:48 PM

is he the gay dude? if so it's a wonder she didnt kick his rump-ridin' little arse!

Posted by: roscoe at December 6, 2003 at 04:50 PM

Ha !

a bit of hoisting by his own petard eh?

I love the way he 'appropriated' 5 of the libs bottles for his own use. Thats soooo like a lefty, whats yours is mine,let someone else pay.

Actually, methinks its lucky the 'gay' one as was mentioned wasn't the offendor. Can you imagine that one making the papers? no, that would make them 'homophobic'

Posted by: nic at December 6, 2003 at 04:58 PM

Its common practice for NSW Police to be breath tested at work, and after critical incidents madatory drug and alcohol testing take place.

It seems those who enforce the law are required to be sober and excercising good judgement (As they should be) but those who make the law can be drunk as a lord.

Mandatory breath testing for pollies now!

Posted by: Gilly at December 6, 2003 at 05:02 PM

re: gilly.

Hear! Hear!

I hope there is a "Full and independent judicial inquiry" in to the whole grubby affair. (Carman Lowrance).

Posted by: jon at December 6, 2003 at 05:12 PM

The Left cannot really have not learned anything.

Bill Clinton, the champion of equal rights for women turned out to be a serial sexual predator (would they have been soft if "W" had a Monica-esque affair - NO);

Carmen Lawrence or "Saint Carmen" escaped perjury charges over Penny Easton's death only be an implausible "I don't remember" performance at the Royal Commission and her trial;

Cheryl Kernot sold her principles completely whilst leader of the Dems by joining Labor where her job prospects were better (or at least that's what Gareth told her)

and now the party talking so much bulls#%t about gender equality and equal rights turns out to be led by a foul-mouthed, violent, sexist, drunken bully in Andrew "the goth" Bartlett.

Now it's not what these individuals did that is so galling, it is the sanctimonious Leftist attitude that "they" and "their" leaders are somehow above the grubby politicing of the rest of the world. Demonstrably they are not.

Take a reality check - and give Andrew his job back (after his hangover goes away) and in future cut out the holier-than-thou attitude please.

Lefties have feet of clay too sometimes!


Posted by: The_GOP_Elephant at December 6, 2003 at 06:03 PM

Dont the Dems have any normal people?

Posted by: Willmott Fribbish at December 6, 2003 at 10:35 PM

Short answer, Willmott - NO!

They are not a mainstream party in Australia - they attract a small minority of their own fruitloops and a larger minority of the "protest vote" that can't come at voting for a major party. Especially in our Senate, where the balance of power gives them way too much influence for their small constituency.

Posted by: Bob Bunnett at December 7, 2003 at 09:01 AM

Totally off-topic, but this looks like a good opp to stamp down on some nonsense from the "Naive Right".
nic follows that tendency in thinking that economic misappropriation and social impropriety is the primarily the fault of leftist white-collar welfarists and blue-collar work-farists:

I love the way he 'appropriated' 5 of the libs bottles for his own use. Thats soooo like a lefty, whats yours is mine,let someone else pay.

Nic needs to lose his seventies and early eighties "Lefties-are-the-main-parasites" ideological stereotypes. They are as dated and foolish as the hair-cuts of that period.
Lefties in democracies still say dumb things, but they don't have the power to do bad things. That appears to be the prerogative of Right wing financial and political entrepreneurs.
The days when Lefties were the main rip off artists are long gone with eighties & nineties welfare and work-place reform.
The big rip-off artists are now on the Right, with the shady activities of the political, fianancial & managerial boss class, ie crony political-access capitalists, bosses not paying worker entitlements, traders gaming the stock market and the lot having off-shore tax havens.
The same goes for Iraq, where the "Naive Right" were completely suckered by some political entrepreneurs, the neo-cons and Iraqi carpetbaggers, who wanted to bust the Baathist party & OPEC and saw their chance after 911.
Thank god that the US military is professional enough to make the best of a bad job. - note that the egalitarian and communal values of the professional-vocational military are glaringly at odds with the proprietarian and individualistic values of the managerial-occupational uber-class.
It's time for the Naive Right to stop taking at the statements of right-wing think tanks or spin-doctors at face value.
In general, the "Naive Right" (not TB) needs to pull it's head out of it's arse and start recognising the faults on it's own side, which have been the major public bads over the past generation. These bads hurt the functioning of the Open Society, namely:

  • unaccountable Greed

  • irresponsible Power

If in doubt check out anything said by Soros, Buffet or the Gates foundation. Or Fortune magazine. They would know, as you don't get any more top-dog than them.

Posted by: Jack Strocchi at December 7, 2003 at 01:15 PM

No Jack,

lefties are full of big ideas though have little gumption in getting others to bear the reality.

Free education at all levels, unlimited medicare, a social welfare system where anyone can make a 'choice' to opt out and be supported for as long as it takes. Where Aboriginal compensation, public transport et al all come from some magical pot.

Even the loudest advocates of free immigration are happy for an increase in any social costs, why? they don't live in Bankstown or Auburn, they live in middle class comfort in Balmain and Carlton.

Yes Jack, if its there I'll take it, costs is something that ultimately affects someone else.

Posted by: nic at December 7, 2003 at 06:47 PM

I'm impressed with Jack Strocchi's ability to use huge numbers of words to say nothing. Jack mate - you need to get your point over before anyone can say 'what the fuck is this nonce on about?' or they'll have moved on to the next comment.

Paul (helping Lefty twats since 1983) Johnson.

Posted by: Paul Johnson at December 8, 2003 at 01:00 PM

Ferris has had a blessed life if that's the worst she's ever experienced. Meanwhile, what is she and her colleagues going to do about Senator Heavyhand over his treatment of Senator Nettle a few weeks ago?

Howard takes us down the Starwars path, people still die in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for three days this unfortunate but hardly world-shattering clash gets run as a major news item.

Posted by: Bunyip at December 8, 2003 at 05:22 PM

Funniest thing about Bartlett's predicament is that it contrasts so clearly with the sanctimonious twaddle he was spouting over Iraq, etc (everything really) and so well highlighted by your page.
Congrats also on targeting the revolting, farting, Phillip Adams. This man has been a professional bore for far too long and should be asked to quietly move back to the farm with Patrice.

Posted by: Roger at December 10, 2003 at 12:22 PM