Queensland LNP leader Deb Frecklington is being slammed for comments she made about her political opponent Annastacia Palaszczuk, in which she suggested the QLD premier cared more about designer clothes than running the country.
“She has deliberately changed her image – the whole ‘Princess Palaszczuk’ is pretty obvious – but I haven’t changed mine,” Frecklington told the Courier Mail in an explosive interview.
“I have no choice but to remain grounded, because of (husband) Jason and the girls. I can have a tough day but then I’ll get a call from one of my kids and you’ve got to deal with whatever’s going on in their lives. She, on the other hand, has had a complete makeover – all the makeup, the designer labels, it’s too much, when there are bigger issues to focus on.”
Palaszczuk has spoken candidly about her struggles with IVF, her pain at losing a pregnancy at 11 weeks, her diagnosis of endometriosis, and her desire to have had children, all of which make Frecklington’s comparisons particularly irksome.
State and federal politicians have been jumping to Palaszczuk’s defence, calling the comments a “sad day for women” and urging Frecklington to be “part of the solution … not the problem”.
And it’s well past time to be attacking a female politician for her clothes – yet it still keeps happening. Play the ball, not the woman!!— Kristina Keneally (@KKeneally) December 28, 2019
Even more shameful – in today’s example – is that a woman – @DebFrecklington – is leading the charge. Our own worst enemy, sometimes ????
The last time I saw this level of meanness was actually in the movie Mean Girls. Astonishing. https://t.co/BysmcwrWOc— Jackie Trad (@jackietrad) December 28, 2019
A really sad day for all women when comments like this make the front page. @DebFrecklington you are a woman in a significant leadership position, you should be better than this. ????♀️ https://t.co/YoxJSfjm2Z— ????Kim Richards MP (@KimeRichards) December 28, 2019
The epitome of everything that’s wrong with politics.— Emma Husar (@emmahusarmp) December 29, 2019
Shaming a woman for being childless, the clothes she wears is not the role model you ought to be setting as a wannabe premier for girls & women. It. Matters.@DebFrecklington resign you don’t deserve your position. pic.twitter.com/LqMoqFdiTa
Of course, Frecklington’s comments would hold slightly more weight if she herself hadn’t dabbled in designer attire from time to time. It didn’t take long for Twitter users to find photographic evidence of Frecklington appearing to wear $600+ items of clothing.
.@DebFrecklington: Really, I’m a down to earth politician who only shops @Target & Cue— Eamonn Fitzpatrick (@EamonnFitz) December 29, 2019
Also @DebFrecklington: Here’s yet another photo of me wearing yet another very expensive designer label #qldpol ???????? pic.twitter.com/sbYgDh2ksB
That red dress definitely is Karen Millen and it’s RRP in AU is $458. So, here we are ???????? pic.twitter.com/MusCEIruwr— ???????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????? (@samanthamaiden) December 29, 2019
Frecklington may or may not own the clothes she’s wearing – it’s not unusual to hire a dress these days, or be provided with options for a photoshoot – but perhaps people wearing what appears to be a $627 top from Camilla shouldn’t be commenting on what other female politicians wear. Or anyone, for that matter.
Besides, there’s plenty to criticise about Palaszczuk’s running of Queensland without resorting to weird jibes about clothing. That’s part of the game of politics: you do stuff, it benefits some people and not others, and then people are allowed to yell about it.
Queensland is heading into a state election next year, with Frecklington preparing to run for Palaszczuk’s job.
Neither woman has commented on the uproar (although PEDESTRIAN.TV has reached out to Frecklington for comment). Since the interview and backlash, Frecklington has posted holiday snaps on Instagram, while Palaszczuk has called for volunteer firefighters in Queensland to be paid as well as those in New South Wales.