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Australia's first bloke outed as a hairdresser - brings down prime minister

Tim Mathieson, partner of Australian (now former) Prime Minister Julia Gillard (and thus Australia's "first bloke") has been outed as being a hairdresser. In the lead-up to the (scheduled) September election, this is seen as a crude attempt to appeal to religious conservatives who follow the injunctions in Leviticus that Ch 19 v27 Ye shalt not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of they beard, Ch 21 v5 They shall not make any baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard nor make any cuttings in their flesh.

In each case, emphasising the importance of avoiding haircuts, these chapters immediately follow a chapter of prescriptions against male homosexuality as well as sex with animals, sisters-in-law, uncles' wives or threesomes with a mother and daughter. [Sex with school children under your care is
not precluded in Leviticus.]

The attack on Mr Mathieson, by intermittent greenhouse denier Howard Sattler was a classic feint and strike. Mr Sattler opened with the question as to whether Mr Mathieson was gay. While the PM gasped incredulously, Mr Sattler went for the kill:
he must be gay: he's a hairdresser.

Mr Sattler was judged as expendable to the greenhouse denial cause (he seems to have only hosted Lord Monckton once on his radio program) and was sacked by his employers in a desperate attempt to distinguish themselves from Mr Murdoch's news outlets. Indeed he had harmed denialist tactics by striking too early, rather than keeping the damning revelation for closer to the election. Instead of being used by PM Gillard's enemies in the COALition, it was used by her enemies in her own party. The Murdoch greenhouse-denying columnist Piers Ackerman tried to back-track by trying to re-divert discussion to Mr. Mathieson's sexual orientation, but it was too late and events had to run their course.

Rumours of Mr Mathieson's hairdressing proclivities had circulated for years, and even been reported in leading Canadian news outlets such as
Friends of Gin and Tonic. But Mr Sattler's revelation in his Perth Drive-time radio show brought the matter into the open.

The "feint and strike" approach had been tried directly on Prime Minister Gillard. In the last twelve months, years of misogynist attacks finally made way to the what was hoped to be the killer blow: Ms Gillard is a lawyer, but this proved insufficient.

In the end, the outing of Mr Mathieson as a hairdresser was the final straw. Within weeks of Mr Sattler's outing of her partner, Ms Gillard was deposed as Prime Minister.

Andrew Nut
Religious affairs correspondent
Waikikamukau, West Island, NZ.