An Open Letter to the Australian Financial Review

To the Australian Financial Review,

I wanted to make you aware of the behavior of one of your columnists which is damaging your brand. I was also going to tell you that this columnist is diminishing public decency in Australia, however I don’t think you care much about that, so let’s stick with your brand.

The columnist in question is Wendy Grace Collier (now known as Grace Collier). Grace writes for you on what appears to be a fairly regular basis about industrial relations and unions. She is Managing Director of Australian Dismissal Services. Considering how many non-expert columnists there are in the Australian media, commenting on things that they have no expertise in, you should ordinarily be congratulated for finding someone who works in a particular field to provide expert commentary. In other circumstances, I might even go as far as saying this shows balance, and a respect for the facts.

But there’s just one problem. And this is that Grace Collier has shown on her Twitter account, in numerous examples, that she is not fit to be providing expert commentary on anything related to the Labor government, when she has such a deep, nasty and personal hatred of our previous Prime Minister, Julia Gillard and most of Gillard’s Labor colleagues. I’m not sure if you’ve seen Collier’s Twitter feed, which is why I’m bringing it to your attention now. After your parent company, Fairfax Media, severed their working relationship with columnist Catherine Deveny, it concerns me that you have not taken similar action over Grace Collier’s behavior. Wouldn’t it be slightly hypocritical for you to continue publishing Collier’s columns, when your company gave this explanation for why they could no longer publish Deveny:

“We are appreciative of the columns Catherine has written for The Age over several years but the views she has expressed recently on Twitter are not in keeping with the standards we set at The Age”.

Standards. Let’s have a look at the standards of behavior which Collier thinks are acceptable, which I assume that you don’t. I should mention here that I did not know Grace Collier existed until I recently heard her on Jonathan Green’s ABC Radio National Show Outsiderson June 16 of this year, where she said it was unprofessional for the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, to show cleavage in parliament. I was horrified. After Googling Collier’s name, I found her business, and I found that she was an AFR columnist. I also found Collier’s Twitter feed. At first I thought this must be a satirical account, as I couldn’t believe that someone could be this nasty and rude about Julia Gillard, and also get given space to provide opinion in what I then regarded as a fairly professional, national newspaper and media website. But I have seen no evidence that this is a faux account. It appears to be Collier’s own words. Hence why I felt the need to bring these words to your attention.

As it says clearly on Collier’s profile, she is not a journalist, and everything she Tweets are opinions she stands by:

MsGraceCollierTwitterProfile

That is fine. Not everyone who writes for a newspaper is a journalist. And of course everyoneis entitled to his or her own opinion. But, in a respectable society, I would have thought there was some standard to be adhered to when it came to voicing these opinions. I would have thought that those people who choose to be blatantly derogatory, who choose to accuse the then Prime Minister Julia Gillard of being a criminal, who take great pleasure in spreading vile and nasty messages of hate on social media, would not be the very same people that respectable media outlets would choose to comment on political policy and industrial relations. It beggars belief that Collier is the one calling Julia Gillard ‘unprofessional’ when she is the one producing this mess of hate filled commentary, accessible to anyone with a Twitter account or access to Google.

As outraged as I was by Collier’s comments on Outsiders, I was far more upset by her Tweets last night during Kevin Rudd’s leadership challenge. At a moment when I was watching Julia Gillard, a woman who has achieved so much for the country, who has been bullied by the media, undermined by many in her caucus, who has stood up for ordinary Australians and never stopped fighting to secure once in a lifetime reforms, a woman who I admire as deeply as Collier hates her, a woman who is stoic in the face of all the hatred, the ‘ditch the witch’ placards, the comments about her deceased father, the nastiness around her childlessness and her partner’s sexuality, who has put up with all of this and retained her dignity, and while she was finally torn down, I see this Tweet from Collier:

MsGraceCollierTweet1

Then this:

MsGraceCollierTweet2

Then this:

MsGraceCollierTweet3

At this point, I would like to ask the AFR a question about standards. What has happened to the standards of behavior in this country if one of your columnists thinks it acceptable to direct this sort of public commentary towards Julia Gillard at a moment of devastation for her and those who have supported and admired her? I understand that Collier might not agree with Julia Gillard’s politics, but how has it come to be that a civilized country can be so full of such personal and derogatory hatred towards our first female Prime Minister, and how can these people not set higher standards for themselves? Because of course, this isn’t just about Collier. This is about everyone who behaves like her and who make people like her think it’s ok for them to behave like that too. It’s for the thousands of people on Twitter and Facebook who produce hate speech about Gillard, it’s for the Shock Jocks, it’s for the comments on news sites which are full of bile, but are completely unrelated to anything Gillard has ever said or done as a politician, as part of her service to the country as Prime Minister. And how has it come to be that you, a national business newspaper, would employ someone who behaves in this way to provide commentary on the policies of Gillard’s government, when it’s clear Collier’s personal opinion of Julia Gillard couldn’t possibly be put to one side when she is writing about Gillard’s government and the policies of this government? Surely there is someone with higher standards of acceptable behavior who could provide commentary on industrial relations, who doesn’t denigrate the act of providing commentary, the act of putting words to paper, with her vile behavior on social media? If you can’t find someone better, I suggest you haven’t looked very hard.

If you’re not already convinced, and slightly ashamed of ever publishing Collier in the first place, here are some other tweets from her Twitter feed which give further insights into the type of behavior I am talking about:

(Is this one promoting violence towards the Prime Minister?)

McGraceCollierTweetA

MsGraceCollierTweetImage

MsGraceCollierTweet11

MsGraceCollierTweet13

MsGraceCollierTweet14

MsGraceCollierTweet15

MsGraceCollierTweet4

MsGraceCollierTweet5

MsGraceCollierTweet6

MsGraceCollierTweet7

MsGraceCollierTweet9

MsGraceCollierTweet8

Please consider what I’ve said, and for your own self-interest, if not also the interests of our society, think about whether Grace Collier is an appropriate representative for your brand.

Yours sincerely as always,

Victoria Rollison

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36 Comments on “An Open Letter to the Australian Financial Review”

  1. Lorraine Clark says:

    I totally agree with your comments on the vicious nasty comments that are written on facebook etc; I feel sickened by them, & wondered where we are heading as a nation, if the main stream media keep condoning this sort of commentary, newspapers, TV shows & radio shock jocks should be held accountable.
    I’m enjoying reading your letters, as I don’t buy the MSM newspapers, (or should I say toilet papers, because that is all they are good for).

  2. gorgeousdunny1 says:

    She was an opportunist as a union official when starting, and looks like she remains one. I wonder if she’s angling for a job on 2GB. They do a good line in venom there.

  3. gorgeousdunny1 says:

    This puts it in perspective

  4. Iain Hall says:

    Really Victoria you are desperate to find a target for your anger and the political love of your life being dispatched by Rudd aren’t you?
    Worse still you dare to compare Deveney who was sacked for suggesting that an UNDERAGE girl (Bindi Irwin) “needed to get laid” with Grace Collier who has done nothing but be a bit sarcastic about Gillard’s political demise and her (woeful) dress sense. I have seen, both here and at other online places you frequent, pages and pages of far worse bile directed at the likes of Tony Abbott.

    • Kane Stuart says:

      I have no idea why one would invest energy in the defence of pure nasty. You are welcome to an opinion on Gillard’s political performance, but to come in swinging a bat under the justification that kind of bile is ok to be directed at anyone, let alone a Prime Minister, speaks volumes about you, and very little about the debate itself.

      • Iain Hall says:

        Kane
        Twitter tends towards being a rather crass and tactless medium at the very best if times It is the perfect medium for snarky and cruel comments about anyone and anything and in that environment the things tweeted by Grace Collier are quite mild and certainly not worthy of any sanction. On the other hand Deveney suggesting that an under-aged girl needs to was an incitement to either rape or at the very least sex acts that would be morally and legally wrong.

    • Robbie says:

      I can’t believe you Iain. ‘a bit sarcastic’ about Gillard? What would it take for you to recognise gutter talk from any one on your side of politics? If you can’t recognise hatred: bile: stench from people like Grace Collier, may I suggest you suffer from moral illiteracy?

    • Let’s ask Helen Wilson, Barbara Ramjan, and now Ali Cobby Eckerman about “far worse bile” from “the likes of Tony Abbott”, including Steve ‘slit her throat’ Ciobo, shall we?

    • gorgeousdunny1 says:

      It’s called integrity, Iain. A concept that completely escapes Ms Cotterill, and apparently you. By the way do you think that hidden microphone in Cotterill’s bra, that she illegally used in a strike-breaking attempt was supplied by 2GB?

      It might explain the hateful bile she has in her breast.

      • Iain Hall says:

        I have no knowledge of this ” Ms Cotterill,” you speak about or the incident you describe, so please either explain or provide a link to reports of the incident in question.

  5. Liam says:

    Ian Hall there is not a sensible person in the country that would give you two bob for your poisonously predictable trolling. Get a life you perpetual loser.

    Grace is attracted to the AFR as flies are to dog poo.

    • Iain Hall says:

      Liam
      If you think that the Financial Review is not worthy of membership of the fourth estate then what does it matter to you who writes for is pages or what their opinions on twitter may be?

      • gorgeousdunny1 says:

        I have no knowledge of this ” Ms Cotterill,” you speak about or the incident you describe, so please either explain or provide a link to reports of the incident in question.
        Iain, if you have no knowledge of Cotterill, then you are really a first class wanker, with comprehension difficulties, clearly demonstrating the need for Ms Gillard’s Education reforms. FFS, she’s the topic of the post!

        If you refrained from trolling for time enough to read this post … You might discover what Victoria was writing about in the first place! I counted 12 Tweets listed above. The low-life character of Cotterill’s cheap sneers suggests that at heart she has a jealous hatred of the ex-PM. Graceless Cotterill wouldn’t know integrity if it smacked her in the face.

        She sounds just your type, Iain, if you’re in the market.

      • Iain Hall says:

        Oh, are you suggesting that ” Ms Cotterill,”another name for is Grace Collier? 🙄

  6. Barb Maxtone- says:

    Hear Here.

    • gorgeousdunny1 says:

      Ah, you got me on that one, Iain. Such a forgettable person after you get past her trashy smears. Of, course I should’ve said Collier, albeit I should hardly dignify her to the point of calling her “Grace” when she’s showed such a complete lack of it.

      If you’re wondering about her microphone bra smuggling episode, look it up on Google. James Bond traits trying to entrap union strike leaders. Copped a bit of a boot on that from the judge.

      • Iain Hall says:

        Its ironic that you were chiding me about my reading skills given your own errors.
        That said you are showing your prejudices to insist that anyone who is not of your political tribe has to be suspect in their morality. Hence your whine about Grace’s given name, which should not even be a point of debate among grown ups.

  7. E G Jensz says:

    A great article with evidence which is virtually unrefutable. Well done. Grace Collier is obviously a very sick woman with issues other than her absolute hatred of Julia Gillard but nothing at all excuses her ranting and raving and personal attacks, it is simply unprofessional. If the AFR want commentary on industrial relations I’m sure there are many others available with a Right leaning without continuing with this despicable woman.

    • gorgeousdunny1 says:

      LOL! Iain. YOU making a moral defence of Grace? Tell me whether you think those tweets are other than those of someone filled with spite, or as I said, completely lacking in grace.

      In fairness for all of your persistent trlolling I’ve never known you to stoop to that level of bile. So sorry you think you have to defend it, simply because she’s on your side. It’s not a matter of whose side she’s on, albeit she doesn’t endear me as one who sold out, having once worked for a trade union, before she saw the light and the money.

      And I wouldn’t carp too much about me getting her name wrong. At one point some time back, you’d christened me ‘George’. To coin a favourite terminology of your idol, “Shit happens”.

      • Iain Hall says:

        Please explain Just what is so bad about any of those tweets.
        They certainly are less than kind but that is no crime

      • gorgeousdunny1 says:

        If I need to explain that, Iain, you’ve already lost the argument. Reread them and defend them if you can. Nobody’s talking about crime. But somewhere there has to be some limits even on free speech, as the case against Bolt showed. You cannot be expected to get away with smears which are based on lies, such as Bolt tried.

  8. Roger says:

    I just listened to the Outsiders link. The woman appears very jumpy. She was happy when she thought Eva Cox was supporting her, but as soon as the others pointed out her prejudices, she went troppo!

  9. Art says:

    When the disciples of LNP aren’t sitting in the driver’s seat they become very nasty indeed. One just needs to look at their leader, a man full of rage and hatred, a perfect role model and no doubt inspiration for Grace…her name has an ironic ring to it.

    • Iain Hall says:

      If you want to see nasty then just you wait Art. In the coming months we are going to see all manner of desperate lefties in full on spoiled brat mode and they will no more hold back than a cornered rat would roll over and just give in. It will definitely NOT be the left’s finest hour you can be sure about that.

      • gorgeousdunny1 says:

        We won’t have to Iain. With Rudd campaigning and, assuming he can swallow his pride and ego long enough, Gillard’s programs (education, NDIS, NBN -which Rudd started going anyway- and infrastructure investment, which Howard had run down) all of which are massively popular in Essential Research, combined with their economic/employment record (world’s best among advanced economies), he’ll piss it in against Abbott’s policy-free, ‘bring back Howard’ line. Scare campaigns on debt won’t count with triple A credit ratings from all agencies.

        They’ve spent all their weaponry destroying Gillard personally, while ignoring how she’s been governing and the programs and policy she’s put in place. She’s not an egoist and not interested in the glory or just hanging. She’s accepted all the bile they’ve poured out on her, and only responded once when Abbott pushed his luck with that ‘dying of shame’ slur. That worked out well for him and the ignorant press gallery, didn’t it?

        They’ve got a bucketload on Rudd, of course, including what some of his ministers said about him. But that will be water off a duck’s back to the public who still don’t believe all the stories about him. And in any case, even if they half-believed them, he’s still a lot less repulsive than Abbott. And it’s probably too late to go back to some sanity with Turnbull.

        Labor won’t just save the furniture. They’ll win. Mind you, how the hell they govern with Rudd is another question. They’d need to turn him into a ceremonial head or something, but that’s Labor’s problem long-term.

        Ever think that Crean insanity in March might have been planned? It bought her a few more months to implement her programs. She might have gone down, but she’s outflanked the Liberals and the press gallery. No wonder she was so relaxed and gracious.

      • Iain Hall says:

        We won’t have to Iain. With Rudd campaigning and, assuming he can swallow his pride and ego long enough, Gillard’s programs (education, NDIS, NBN -which Rudd started going anyway- and infrastructure investment, which Howard had run down) all of which are massively popular in Essential Research, combined with their economic/employment record (world’s best among advanced economies), he’ll piss it in against Abbott’s policy-free, ‘bring back Howard’ line. Scare campaigns on debt won’t count with triple A credit ratings from all agencies.

        You are clearly dreaming here and working on the assumption that the public will for give Labor
        for the last three years of maladministration and terrible decision making under Gillard. Further even though the idea of things like the NDIS and the NBN may be popular Labor have a clearly demonstrated ability to stuff anything they try to do up. In fact there is no part of labor’s last six years that has yielded actual good results.

        They’ve spent all their weaponry destroying Gillard personally, while ignoring how she’s been governing and the programs and policy she’s put in place. She’s not an egoist and not interested in the glory or just hanging. She’s accepted all the bile they’ve poured out on her, and only responded once when Abbott pushed his luck with that ‘dying of shame’ slur. That worked out well for him and the ignorant press gallery, didn’t it?

        Given the fact that the Gillard implosion was largely the result of internal Labor party rivalries you are talking nonsense to suggest that the coalition are in any way spent in its ability to bring the truth of Labor’s shortcomings to the attention of the voters.

        They’ve got a bucketload on Rudd, of course, including what some of his ministers said about him. But that will be water off a duck’s back to the public who still don’t believe all the stories about him. And in any case, even if they half-believed them, he’s still a lot less repulsive than Abbott. And it’s probably too late to go back to some sanity with Turnbull.

        You are truly kidding yourself If you think that the voters who are currently pissed off with Labor will be so easily seduced back to voting for a government led by Rudd. Just look at his latest crap decrying the notion that we could turn back the boats. Even if he could personally solve that problem (which he created in the first place) that will not fix the problem of thousands of illegal immigrants in detention and that is reason enough not to vote labor for many of the traditional “true believers”. On top of that there are the dyed in the wool Gillard fans who are loudly proclaiming that they will NEVER vote Labor again.

        Labor won’t just save the furniture. They’ll win. Mind you, how the hell they govern with Rudd is another question. They’d need to turn him into a ceremonial head or something, but that’s Labor’s problem long-term.

        Do you mind telling me who your dealer is because it must be dynamite weed you are smoking if you think that. In any event why do you think that we should elect someone that you yourself concede is unable to lead a functional government?

        Ever think that Crean insanity in March might have been planned? It bought her a few more months to implement her programs. She might have gone down, but she’s outflanked the Liberals and the press gallery. No wonder she was so relaxed and gracious.

        Labor is so full of back stabbing intrigue, scheming and plotters that such planning is beyond them.

      • Kane Stuart says:

        Jesus, Iain. It’s all stagnant verbosity from you. Look, you hate Labor. Good for you. Someone, somewhere gives a shit. Go find them and bleat on. I’d suggest hanging around the Letters section of most papers.
        But if you want to impress, make a difference, inject something valuable into the debate – how about you argue what Liberal will actually do, instead of what Labor hasn’t or won’t? Convince us. Show us the way. I’ll start with the list: Fraudband,……no sorry, it’s all I got.

  10. gorgeousdunny1 says:

    You’re just talking Liberal twaddle, Iain. Have a look at the legislative record. People are pretty happy to get something spent on schools after 11 years of Howard disinvestment. Flagpoles? Yeah, sure, that was great, wasn’t it. Pyne: zero questions on education in 3 years. Real commitment to our future there, eh? Too busy with Ashby and Thomson, i suppose. Dutton, I think might have managed one question on Health, but still has to think up a policy.

    Your lot are dead if Rudd doesn’t fall apart – a big ask, I admit.

  11. […] is their last and only chance to0 have some hope that all is not all lost, Heck I’ve even had one  of them tell me that Labor can win   and boy did I have a giggle about that. As has been predicted by others with in the Labor party the […]

  12. Screamin kid says:

    I agree she is a pretty despicable little girl! It is fine to criticise politicians but her comments are particularly nasty and vindictive.
    However despite her vitriol our opinion of Julia Gillard is ably and strongly supported by her OPEN TRANSPARENT efforts on behalf of ALL AUSTRALIANS including Ms Collier?
    I wonder if she appreciates the SNEEKY AND INCOMPETENT BEHAVIOUR of GILLARD’S male replacement and whether COLLIER GAVE VALUE for MONEY with her tweets? Why was SHE not SUSPENDED for breaking TWITTER’S RULES of VICIOUS TARGETING?

  13. […] if Murdoch was a good businessman, he would have worked out that people like Chris Kenny, and Grace Collier, and Andrew Bolt and Piers Akerman and the rest of the Liberal Party propaganda squad might be […]

  14. […] if Murdoch was a good businessman, he would have worked out that people like Chris Kenny, and Grace Collier, and Andrew Bolt and Piers Akerman and the rest of the Liberal Party propaganda squad might be […]

  15. […] doesn’t hold back in belittling and ridiculing left-wingers on Twitter, nor does he criticise the abuse given out by his right wing mates. So the fact that Kenny was the one suing the ABC over a joke does seem to me to be infuriatingly […]

  16. Anonymous says:

    What an extremely jealous, unhappy venomous small minded twat Collier is. She is obviously suffering from many insecurities. What she writes speaks more loudly about her than anyone she chooses to vomit over. What a miserable black hearted creep she is. Good article Victoria. Thanks.

  17. coconutdog says:

    Suck it up leftards.


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