About Mathew Mackie

Mathew Mackie is a writer and Editor-in-Chief of TBS. He can be contacted at [email protected]

We’re confused by Labor’s criticism toward Julie Bishop’s decision to bring her beau to work. We’re with her, and we have a plan #westandwithJulieBishop


Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has been accused of not ‘taking her job seriously’ by some elements of Labor, with their junior spokesman of Foreign Affairs, Matt Thistlewaite, rubbing salt in her game by purportedly stating “if there’s a legitimate reason for this, then it needs to be clarified”.

The incident he was referring toward was the attendance of Julie Bishop’s other half, David Panton during at Pope Francis’ speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

As to whether the behaviour was appropriate. He was wearing a jacket. And he seemed to be listening. There was but not a relationship selfie, and nary an inside joke was shared. If no rule was broken, who cares? It wasn’t like they were rounding second base whilst the Botswanan delegate silently looked on. Seemed like a non-event. Perhaps it was nothing beyond a lazy barb flung over the political fence. Which would probably explain why Tanya Plibersek later smoothed the rough edge of criticism by describing Mr. Panton’s attendance as ‘odd’. Julie Bishop was subsequently supported by Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese, to confuse everyone on whether this was indeed an issue or not.

To walk a mile in her appointment, if I was the Foreign Minister representing our country, I’d be proud. Too proud. Would I hubristically cart along my betrothed to witness me addressing the UN? Yes. Would I score ‘us’ front seat tickets to see God’s right-hand man perform? Absolutely. To laymanise Julie’s decision, Who randomly organises Date Night? Who mentions their successes? Who sorts a minor issue outside their station? Everybody. Validation within the relationship is an important part of it, as is the taking advantage of one’s situation for the collective betterment.

To be honest, Julie Bishop handled it better than we probably would have, for the temptation to pop bae a shoutout would be too great. And why not? The lifespan of a Politician is short, so who knows if you’ll be returning to the spotlighted green marble wall of International Diplomacy. How many cafeteria luncheons at the UN do you have left? And, yes, whilst it may have sent a My Fair Ladyesque ‘well I never’ shudder through Canberran political elements; we at TBS are confidently planting both feet in the ‘You Go Girl’ camp.

And to demonstrate this, tomorrow, the 2nd of October – We’ll be taking our partners to work. And you should too. Be proud of your work achievements. Show them the chart you helped actualise, or the ‘work’ coffee place you habituate, or the paperclip necklace you made. Achievements are achievements.

Enjoy your drive in the T2 lane, and take your bag off the seat on the bus, because tomorrow, you’ll have company.