@MsGraceCollier Cleavage fact check


by David Marler

June 17, 2013

Yesterday on the ABC Radio National Outsiders program, debate turned to cleavage.

On the panel to discuss the ‘Pandora’s box of political sexism’, National Affairs Editor for Crikey, Bernard Keane; writer, feminist, sociologist and social commentator, Eva Cox and Grace Collier, columnist and industrial relations consultant.

For the first half of the interview it was a reasonable enough discussion on the events of the past few weeks. The Prime Minister’s ‘blue tie’ speech featured prominently. Also taking centre stage was ‘Menugate’ (where references to body parts of the PM were printed on a menu that was never distributed to tables at a Liberal party fundraiser).

As the discussion moved to the Prime Minister’s gender agenda, Grace Collier questioned the statement that the PM was constantly being attacked for being a woman.

“The Prime Minister, in my view, has a dysfunctional relationship with the Australian populace and there is an element there of responsibility that falls on her shoulders…”

Eva Cox explained that there were two different issues, the PM not being good at the job and that being attacked for being a woman was inappropriate.

“Not doing well at the job because she’s not doing well at the job but then attacking her for being a woman is inappropriate.”

“Well, I’ve never heard anyone attacking her for being a woman,” Ms Collier stated.

Ms Cox explained, “Read some of the commentaries, read some of the stuff there. I mean, which male Prime Minister has ever been asked if his wife that is actually having sex with him at that particular time or having sex with some other woman. I mean they would not do it to a man.”

Ms Collier appeared to agree with Eva Cox but then made an unexpected right hand turn across three lanes of traffic.

“Well, also I agree with that but also, I don’t think it is appropriate for a Prime Minister to be showing her cleavage in parliament. It is not something…”

At which point both Bernard Keane and Eva Cox seemed lost for words.

Keane: Oh, for goodness sake … what a load of …

Cox: Come one Grace …

Collier: Well, I think it is inappropriate and unprofessional …

Keane: Grace, can you … explain

Collier: No, I … No Bernard, I’m not here to explain to you. I think it is just … I’m entitled to my opinion.

Keane: Just explain … just explain

Green: One at a time …

Collier: I’d like to finish my point.

Keane: … is somehow not related to the fact that she’s a woman. How can you …

Good lord, the Prime Minister’s cleavage now!


The conversation descends into a discussion about right wing politics with Ms Collier taking exception to being labelled as part of the ‘right’.

So what exactly was Grace Collier referring to here?

If we step back a month, Ms Collier tweeted a photo of the PM and condemned her attire in Parliament.

The photo appears distorted and some have suggested ‘photo shopped’ with the PM’s head placed on another body.

I’ll come to that one in a moment.

However, was it really a photo of the PM? Let’s pan out and look at the original picture. The original photo is attributed to News Limited photographer, Gary Ramage circa 2007. It shows Prime Minister Kevin Rudd seated in Parliament in front of Wayne Swan and Julia Gillard. On 4th May, 2013 The Australian published an opinion piece by Henry Ergas entitled, ‘Bad policy does not just happen’ discussing Labor’s fiscal strategy in 2007 and comparing it to present day. The photo was included as a reference to that time.


It is at this point that Ms Collier sends out her disapproving tweet.

Shortly after her ABC Radio National interview, Ms Collier was challenged over twitter that the photo had been altered.

She explained that she had taken a picture of the photo from The Australian newspaper with her iPhone. At the angle the iPhone was held, it does tend to distort the image.
What have we proven?

The image tweeted by Ms Collier did not tell the entire story. Julia Gillard was not the Prime Minister at the time the photo was taken.

Remember, that during the ABC Radio National interview, Ms Collier’s point about the Prime Minister was that she “has a dysfunctional relationship with the Australian populace.”

She also challenged the statement that the Prime Minister was attacked because she was a woman and then threw in the, “I don’t think it is appropriate for a Prime Minister to be showing her cleavage in parliament” line.

Ms Collier has obscured the facts. She has not told us the entire story behind the photo.

So what? I’m quite sure she can find another photo of the Prime Minister wearing something ‘inappropriate’ to share.

However, as readers and viewers, is this what we want to see from our journalists and politicians? To see constant attacks against the Prime Minister of Australia based on her body shape and what she wears?

Some will answer yes. While she does not like to be labelled as ‘right wing’, many of Ms Collier’s tweets are anti-Gillard Government in nature. Her followers delight in her statements and picture shares. You can check out her timeline here, @MsGraceCollier.

Personally, as a reader and viewer, this exercise has made me question Grace Collier as a genuine political commentator. She’s also not shy of the odd media stunt as in the James Bond style microphone in her bra episode. (You can read that story below).

Can I gain insight and information on the current political situation from her? Would I spend time reading her columns or watching her segments on PMLive?

I think not.


Update 19 June, 2013 – Andrew Bolt Says Grace Collier Is ‘Simply Wrong’.

Ms Grace Collier has confirmed that it was The Australian photo that was the point of reference in her ABC Radio National interview.

From: “David Marler”
Date: 19 June 2013 11:23:54 AEST
To: ‘Peter Anderson’
Questions for Ms Collier

Dear Ms Collier,

Do you have any response to the article “@MsGraceCollier Cleavage fact check” as posted at http://nofibs.com.au/2013/06/17/the-truth-behind-the-cleavage ?

What would you say to the multiple women (some men) that have posted pictures of their cleavage to support Prime Minister Julia Gillard at the Joint Destroy FB page?

Do you feel your comments about Julia Gillard are still justified or would you consider retracting them?

Yours faithfully

David Marler

Journalist Andrew Bolt objected to the ‘right-wing’ labeling of Ms Collier but added, “In this case, however, I think Collier is simply wrong – on the evidence.”
** Can I please stress that the twitter account displayed, “Bolts Blogs @AndrewBoltsBlog” is NOT affiliated with journalist Andrew Bolt **

Below is the link to the real Andrew Blog blog and his thoughts on Ms Grace Collier’s interview.
Andrew Bolt Blog: ‘Grace Collier becomes a “right-winger” for criticising Gillard’s cleavage’

Updates fromTwitter:


Read More:

Blue ties, quail breasts and hairdressers Full Interview: ABC Radio National: ‘Blue ties, quail breasts and hairdressers’
Julia Gillard’s cleavage and Grace Collier, the “human booby trap” ‘Julia Gillard’s cleavage and Grace Collier, the “human booby trap”’
Julia Gillard’s cleavage and Grace Collier, the “human booby trap” ‘Busted: union foils tape in bra spy bid’
Bad policy does not just happen ‘Bad policy does not just happen’

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  1. Joy Cooper says

    Well, I’m not authorised to see the esteemed MS Grace Collier’s conversations on Twitter but there are ways & means Of seeing her stuff. That is if I am interested which, frankly, I am not.

    She does claim to not be right wing but her tweets, retweets & the responses from her friends & followers all indicate she is very much so & boy, are they a rather incestuous bunch. I have a feeling that if you aren’t of “her class” or “social status” then you are nothing.

    Did notice earlier that she tweeted to Craig Emerson “I’m afraid the joke’s on you & your ex, the woman who’s harder top get rid of than bathroom mould,” when referring to our PM. Disgraceful!! She certainly is charming & has absolutely no right to lecture someone else on modesty or class as she has neither.

  2. Thank something or other, at least she wasn’t breastfeeding. (sarcasm font)

  3. Grace Collier is an industrial consultant who assists businesses shaft and sack employees. I read her articles and profiles while working on unfair dismissal cases in my brief stint as a lawyer. The woman is a parasite.

  4. Madeleine Cobb says

    The neckline was unfortunate, but the standard of spiteful journalism plunges far lower. This is the discussion, when Australia IS in peril? Real peril. Not just of parties allowing fools like Tony Abbott to strut, but also of parties and people like Julia come to knifeweilding authority, and worse worse the terrible concord of all – media business industry, judiciary and government that not only ignores the environmental devastation but legislates its increase, the mass apathetic. Cry for Australia