Political satire too sexy for Australia's Gillard


Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard at Parliament House on September 3.


Stefan Postles

The flame-haired Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has asserted that she has better things to do than sit at home watching a satire that depicts her in a rather patriotic sex scene.

Wednesday night’s third episode of At Home With Julia portrays Gillard and her boyfriend Tim Mathieson in a compromising position on the floor of her office in Parliament House – draped in the Australian flag.

For those not in the know, under Australian law it is illegal to sit on the Australian flag. Using it as a sheet however, is quite alright – particularly if you are the prime minister.

Lookalike actor Amanda Bishop plays a racy Gillard, while Phil Lloyd depicts Mathieson, a former hairdresser.

Gillard said she watched the first episode of the program, though not on the night it was broadcast.

Local media reports say the episode’s controversial content have led to widespread condemnation. Some lawmakers have even called for funding to the state broadcaster – the Australian Broadcasting Corporation – to be revised.

Gillard told state radio, the ABC on Wednesday:

I'm not intending to watch tonight's episode. Aspects of that first episode were funny but, seriously, I've got more to do than sit around watching ABC TV.

But, as the Australian Associated Press reports, Gillard nonetheless maintains that her sense of humor remains fully intact.

Her political colleagues have been less forgiving. The Australian press has reported a backlash against the show, with lawmakers from both sides of politics rallying to her defense.

Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan said that while he was not opposed to political satire, this show was “a bit low rent".

National Party lawmaker John Forrest called the segment appalling, reported the Australian Associated Press.

Having sex in the prime minister's office under the Australian flag is the last straw for me.

Forrest said he was offended by the show, urging politicians to take a stand.

Meanwhile the Sydney Morning Herald reported that Nationals senator John Williams objected to the Australian flag being used as a ''cuddle rug''.