Heckled, mocked and shouted down by GetUp, Labor and union members, Nicolle Flint quits as conservative MP from Adelaide

Heckled, mocked and shouted down by GetUp, Labor and union members, Nicolle Flint quits as conservative MP from Adelaide. By David Penberthy.

Ms Flint — who was hounded, stalked, and labelled a slut and a prostitute in the vicious 2019 campaign in the South Australian seat of Boothby — has decided she can no longer tolerate the pressures of political life as a female MP …

After two terms, she is not standing at the next election.

Flint was reflecting on the miserable standard of modern discourse and her own experience as a woman who has endured a mountain of abuse as a Liberal conservative.

She was referring to a tweet written about her by sacked Fairfax columnist and Order of Australia recipient Mike Carlton when she appeared on a 2019 episode of the ABC’s Q&A, during which Carlton tweeted: “Never have I admired Jimmy Barnes so much as tonight. How does he not leap from his seat and strangle the Liberal shill on his right?”

When Julia Gillard was prime minister Alan Jones was (rightly) denounced when he said she should be stuffed in a chaff bag and thrown into the sea. As of yesterday, Carlton’s tweet was still on Twitter and had been liked 1098 times.

Flint wrote about her dismay at the fact that Carlton would not only say such a thing but that ­people would cheer him on for it, and in the case of some in her party, tell her to brush it off. …

The left’s name-calling, abuse, cancelling, and (increasingly, in the US) violence works, because the media won’t call it out.

“I did not put up my hand so I could be the sole candidate ­heckled, mocked and shouted down by GetUp, Labor and union members at community meetings,” Ms Flint told parliament. “I did not put up my hand so my election posters could be defaced with the words ‘skank’ and ‘blow and go’, suggesting I was a prostitute charging $60 an hour.” …

Flint’s ­departure sends depressing signals about the manner in which politics is increasingly conducted in this country, especially when it comes to women. …

Today, abuse is no longer regarded as universally unacceptable but contingent on whether you think the recipient deserves it.

And the uniparty within Australia’s Liberal Party, the “wets,” follow suit under the cloak of media protection.

It’s a phenomenon that occurs not just between political parties but within them, as evidenced by the fact that SA Liberal moderates who cannot stand Flint casually refer to her conservative grouping as “The Taliban” and were unmoved when she documented her treatment by GetUp in the Boothby campaign in 2019.

The same dynamic is emerging in Australian politics as in the US, for the same reasons. Expect rigged elections from about 2035?