Premier Geoff Gallop resigns due to depression

I was doing a few things at home today when I was rung by a journalist asking me to comment on the announcement by Western Australian Premier, Geoff Gallop, that he was resigning from the position due to the health impacts of depression.

Because I’ve spoken about having depression myself a few times over the years (see this speech at a mental health conference a couple of years ago for an example), I occasionally get this type of media call, asking me things like whether being in politics can generate or exacerbate depression, and whether it is harder to cope with politics when you have depression.

In some ways, it’s almost impossible to answer such questions, because I don’t know what it’s like to be anyone other than me, so I don’t know how things affect other people. However, there are a few comments worth making.

Firstly, depression affects people in many different ways. Sometimes it is triggered by a specific event or series of events, and sometimes it is basically intrinsic to a person. It has varying degrees of severity, different ways of manifesting itself, and different people can handle it in different ways. It is therefore a bit dangerous to make too many broad assertions about it.

Secondly, politics can be stressful, but it can also be energising. I could think of many other jobs that are more stressful and much less well recompensed. The personal focus of some of the criticism and the very public nature of some of that criticism can be psychologically bruising, especially if you are in a leadership position. However, you also don’t want a bunch of politicians completely immune to criticism and disconnected from humanity.

Thirdly it is very important that the perception that people with depression can’t cope with stressful situations as well as others is continually debunked. Everyone can have difficulty coping with certain circumstances, and that will vary from person to person, but there is no reason as a matter of course why people with depression can’t handle pressure situations as well as others.

I often point to John Curtin, often called Australia’s greatest Prime Minister, as someone who showed that a person can perform extremely well despite having depression. In fact, I often ponder whether the depression was actually one of the factors in him doing the job so well. His genuine empathy for what the Australian people were going through, and especially those he was sending off to war, no doubt contributed to his own personal suffering (and probably his early death), but it may also have meant his decisions were more considered, with the human consequences, rather than just the political consequences, given more emphasis than might otherwise have occurred.

Back to Geoff Gallop – I don’t know him at all so I can’t really comment on his situation, beyond noting the obvious that when you’re in a leadership position, there’s not much place to hide if you are struggling, and sheltering yourself too much will make it harder to do the job well. If anything, it’s a good indication that he’s someone who took the responsibilities of his job very seriously, genuinely and personally, rather than just seeing it as holding on to power for its own sake. Clearly he wanted to be able to do the job of Premier well, rather than just occupy the position and rely on public relations spin to get him through. I wouldn’t make the same assessment about some politicians in the federal arena.

You can read the full text of his resignation statement here, and a few initial news reports here and here.

ELSEWHERE: Geoff Gallop’s resignation has drawn commentary on a lot of blogs. A sample of some of them follows:
The Muriels, The Daily Magnet, Suburban Scrawl, The Currency Lad, Larvatus Prodeo (some good reader comments too), Duckpond, Imagining Australia, Major Anya, The Daily Flute, Missi Torquceres, Joanne Jacobs, and Stoush.net. Also, a post on Ambit Gambit that touches on some of the wider issues sparked by this story.

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39 Comments

  1. Political depression is easily defined.

    It’s all the backbiting from within the party and the opposing parties having to justify something everytime you open your mouth.

    I think it is that simple.

    Now I’m not saying I’m correct but if I am, that’d make Latham Diaries correct. Politics is a dirty game and is not conducive to people with a good conscience and if it is, it is unlikely they’ll have one by the end.

  2. Depression… it’s been such a long time coming to this point where people can actually refer to this condition as an illness and not a fault. I personally suffer from depression and anxiety, and it has taken me up until this point in my life to be able to openly admit to having depression without feeling as though I am to blame for it.

    I’ve worked in politics – student politics, to be exact – and depression definitely affected how I did my job. Which is not to say that I did my job better or worse than I would have done without the illness, but that I was much, much harder on myself and on others.

    There were times, during my terms of office, where I would leave meetings in tears midway through the agenda. I would sit in my office and cry onto my desk and feel so fucking helpless, so pointless in my endeavours to make the world a better place, that I would say I was further down than depression – I was in a big black hole of utter despair.

    It was bloody hard. But the one thing that kept me going over the last three years was the politics. It was painful, it made me feel awful about the world, it made me distrust almost everyone I knew, but it gave me a sense of purpose – I was helping people, I was making a difference, however small. And that sense of meaning in my life was what I needed to go on.

    So yes, politics can be a stressful environment for people with mental illness, but it can also be a place for sad people to find happiness in giving to their communities.

    That said, after three years, I am glad to be out – I would imagine Mr Gallop feels similarly.

  3. There will be a run on from this very public announcment. It will be of course every single health progect to do with mental health wanting more funding. What i dont approve of is that the major increase of mental health problems are brought on through drugs. I am not saying the Premier was taking drugs I am saying the increase is mostly because of drugs . I do not agree with funding anybody who brought on the problem for themselves. If we continue to do that we will never allow people to resposible for themselves. It is normal for people to get depressed. Often all it requires is a sea change. I feel sorry for the him but remain uncertain that he needed to disclose what really is his private affairs. I also think there was more behind it and tend to agree with Vee. Some things are private and people have lost that sense . Its like the female adds promoting tampons on tv. Its not something we all need to see and hear.Some things are [private and thats is what is wrong with this world because people want to take away any sense of self respect and privacy.People are making it a fashion to say they have a mental health problem and need counciling. Kids now think there nobody if they dont have their own counciler for god sake. People with real mental health problems also should be issued with a card that they must produce by law. There is nothing worse than for eg to rent a property to somebody only to find out they are trouble. Then this system flocks around that person and we the owners are expected to be abused and sometimes threatend go without their rent because Charlie Brown has a mental health problem[usually brought on through abuse of substance] . The premier may have meant well but he has not done himself or anybody else a favour. All the users will be demanding more funds and the real people in need get pushed into the background. Thats is how the real world works.Look at the drought releif . All the hobby farmers drained the funds while the real proud ones would rather die than lodge for anything and lets face it they have reason to be down with the goverment flooding the markets with cheap imports. Now thats a reason to be depressed.I dont hear them advertising it.

  4. Chris Please do yourself the justice of enlighting all of us to which part you dont like? Or is it possible you dont know. Are you speaking of the P in melbourne going public with private issues? Or do you refer to the fact that we are sick of paying for all these junkies so called mental health problems? Either way. Or perhaps you dont agree with any of our comments? More than likely that is it. Well Chriss thanks for your input of great wisdom. Please dont bother to tell us more sad x junkie stories because nobody cares. Myself and 5 other people got together and donated time to a local center to help mental health and other troubled people. We all gave it away after 3 to 5 months . Everybody became upset at the attitude of these people. They really DO think the world ows them
    Kids dont need to hear its hip or cool or in fashion to be depressed. It encourages it.
    In the case of the young and impreshionable kids> [I am not kidding.]Go and do some volonteer work like we did . Then comment.The fact is kids are thinking its cool to have a counciler, to be depressed is in fashion even to kill themselves. As i said some things are best left to deal with in private.

  5. Her Radicalness. I hope you are happier to be out. The thing is someone was paying you to leave those meetings half way through in tears and to sit at your desk crying.[ Probably the public] Mr gallop has clearly got good principles in so much as he chose to get out after feeling it may effect his duties. I would say > There goes a good man. Chris does not understand the counter argument. The question was did we feel Mr Gallop should have gone public.? We said no because all that does is put a mad rush on fundings. Most mental health cases in these days are caused by drugs. It is that we object to> Not someone being mentally ill. The sad facts are that kids pick up on anything thats highlighted in the media. Thats the point we are making. So often people with the best ideas and intentions actually acheive the reverse of what they set out to do. If you are depressed the best thing is to get out and find someone who is in a far worse situation than yourself and help them
    Its surprising how much better you feel.
    .However you have raised an interesting question? Should our ministers and leaders have to undertake mental health checks. It probably might not be a basd idea. Over to You chris.

  6. Sadly Chris, Wendy is not – though she is totally kidding herself if she truly believes even 1% of the vitriolic twisted nonsense she regularly spits out.

  7. oh by the way . Its not cool to use the f word on Andrews blot pad. You can have differences but i dont think that shows much respect to him. As he was good enough to put this up for everybody to use i think he deserves some respect. I know for a fact we dont agree on all things but i dont write f words on his page and nor should you.
    Like the kids with the mental help issue.
    its not cool and not nessarary . It makes me wonder about who really is being paid in politics and who ought not be. I take it you know Andrew? Well in that case why bring his blot pad down to gutter level because he is certainly not trashy.
    You do both he and yourself an industice and any young ones who read this. Think about someone else> who is still in the job.

  8. I wouldn’t get to sanctimonious about it Wendy – Andrew’s been known to use the word himself once or twice – as in this posting way back in December 2004: http://andrewbartlettonline.blogspot.com/2005/01/team-america-backs-conservatism.html

    Besides it’s listed in the Macquarie Dictionary (that’s Australia’s National dictionary Wendy) complete with at least ten different meanings, including the context Her Radicalness used it in so she’s right and you’re wrong – officially!

  9. “Most mental health cases in these days are caused by drugs. It is that we object to.” – Wendy Lewthwaite

    Wendy if you have any evidence to support that claim now is the time to produce it.

    That goes for both of you.

  10. Personally I’ve found depression to be resolved by only one person.

    People react to it differently. Some people drink, some become withdrawn, some people you wouldn’t even know they had it.

    If Gallop feels he can’t cope, then he needs to do whatever he has to, so he can.

    Stepping aside shows he has the best interest of his party and perhaps even the state at heart.

  11. Wendy,
    Assuming you’re not a sock-puppet (which I suspect, you are) re-read your first post, you sound very much like the eternal victim, yourself.

    By the way, I love your use of Charlie Brown, the world’s most depressed and victimised kid. Nice work.

  12. Mental illness does not necessarily make a person incapable of performing their job to a high standard – politician or otherwise.

    It sounds like a bit of a ‘chicken and the egg’ with mental illness and drugs. I also would like to see the statistics. I also think the critical distinction between ‘feeling down’ and ‘clinical depression’ is missing in a couple of the above comments.

    [Thanks for linking my site, Mr Bartlett]

  13. OK I confess. Sometimes i do get on here and write anything that comes to mind. Actually I have my reasons but i am keeping that close to my chest. Most things i write i mean and others is just to get a reaction from [certain people.] However its not working so i might as well give up the gay a bashings[smile]. I dont mind gays i just dont think they should rub it in to kids faces. I also HATE what they have done to this party to be honest.Now if you want proof of the increase in our mental health system through people taking drugs just get the records from the goverment. Speaking of safety in this country i am concerned about the AWB enquiry and the fact that nobody has highlighted the connection between westfarmers lamdmark selling their interests in live exports to The Australian W board in August 2002 to The AWB. The public has a right to be told that AWB OWN the live exports they brought from Wesfarmers. The Australian Goverment were informed of concerns regaring these funds going into the wrong hands in june 2002. They now claim total surprise. Downer needs to be put on the mat. AQIS continue to peddle export licences working direct with Middle East underminning AFIC whom they run to each time they have a problem with kids fighting at beaches or concerns of extreamists.So on one hand the great Downer and friends continue to work against any leadership from main steam Islamic groups and support god knows who. [ Not that they would know either]I called kevin Rudds office today to enquire why the oposition had not made this public , if they even knew.I have long said that we would one day experience [cow karma]./ The return of the cattle sheep and other animals we have aLL ignored. You can not pretend to care about safety for your family if you dont care about safety or compashion of anything else. Charlie Brown. I dont expect you to understand the connection between live export of., animals total cruelty and world peace to all man.AWB sell more than grain they own the live Exports they brought from Westfarmers three years ago yet not one word about this from anybody. i guess i will have to tell the public because thats the stuff behind funding of extream Islamic Groups and thats what we need to change to keep this country fully employed and much safer.
    by the way if Andrew swaer

  14. As i was saying before it posted itself. If Andrew B uses the F word in private thats his choice.He does not write it to you or the public and i dont think he would do it in front of his child or other peoples familys.
    I thought that was uncalled for Thankyou for telling all our readers that Mr B sometimes swears..
    If it is of course true it makes a real man out of you.

  15. Floss While its ok to express thoughts its totally uncalled for to make an overall personal attacks
    on anybody. Your comments are both immature and lack a counter argument . Which comments as you seem to have taken a personal interest in my comments dont you agree with may i enquire?
    Is it the one that i dont think Gays should tell their young kids that mommy or daddy is leaving home to live with another man or lady?
    Or is it my stand for jobs for Australians intsead of exporting all our jobs overeas?
    Perhaps its my stand against the animal cruelty that goes hand in hand with live animal exports?
    No but perhaps it is my thoughts on center link cutbacks especially unmarried mothers. All nursing homes to provide air com for our eldery.? To make drugs legal to cut out the black market which drives the Industry?
    To pay elderly people direct the funds our good tax payers make to provide them with in home care allowing them 20 hours per wek instead of three at best?Just tell me which part is dribble to you.
    Since when was it a crime to care for animals the elderly and frail. That is what this blot is for.
    Sorry if you dont like any of the above but unless you can enlighten me as to what you dont agree with in a little more polite manner i cant help but think you are very rude and rather ignorgant because those are the issues i have made comments on. If you agree or dont agree at least i care enough about elderly people and animals and my country to make comments. Yours seems somewhat lacking in sense and sensibliy. One could say beyond the PALE People Against Live Exports fyi

  16. mellon> cramps are you serious.? Dont you listen to the news read papers ? The public have long been complaining that there system is clogged because of the many increaed cases of drug use abuse. Tell you what. When i get around to it i will post something from one of the articles. Or you could do a googles search. . Its common knowkledge. Oh well if you dont know ,you dont know, but i have some difficulty understanding people who like to use a political blot without following the basics of whats happening in our soceity. Anyway yeh sure i will put something up when i get a moment for you ok. I can not give you actual fugures of the increase through dugs because thats confidential and protected under the privacy . I will give you basic articles where services have been constantly complaing about being under funded because of the increase in mental health services due to the large amount of drugs O D and regular drug uses[especially pot]They bring in the overeas Drs to sometimes work only for as little as six weeks just to cope with it. Of course this does little for the patients who needs ongoing help and is very expensive for the tax payers. The name of the Company who bring the Australian Government bring these Drs through is Global at Salt Lake City.or ask [Downer Hes so good at organising things alone with vAile and now Abbott [ I first wrote to them in 1997 regarding the needs for Drs to be able to follow up properly and the public to receive full ongoing care with the same Dr. They are pretty arrogant of course and only replied once. So Mellon cramps i have done a fair bit of research into the mental health system in this Country. Only a fool would not be aware what a joke it is and how this very over worked staff can be exploited > not top mention Australians in general. By the way> Love dear Its suits you dear.

  17. Hi Wendy

    The original post was about Geoff Gallop’s depression and instead of talking about depression (in a clinical sense), you have chosen to expand the topic to mental illness caused by drug use.

    The two issues are not necessarily linked. People from all walks of life suffer clinical depression (my partner being one of them) and drug use isn’t necessarily the cause. Contrary to your suggestion that “sometimes all is needed is a seachange”, clinical depression is debilitating and requires medication to control. No different to other illnesses caused by imbalances in the body – epilepsy is another good example. A seachange won’t prevent an epileptic having seizures any more than it will a clinically depressed person sinking further and further into a dark hole.

    Mental illness more broadly covers a wide range of illnesses, some of which might be complicated by drug use, other times not.

    I, too, would like to see the statistics to back up your claim that “the majority of mental illness is caused by drug use”. Whilst I don’t deny sometimes this is the case, to claim that the majority of cases are caused by drugs is definitely something I need to see proof of before accepting.

    The other thing I’d like to talk to you about is your comments regarding gays and lesbians. Parents break up and leave each other regularly. You seem to only have an issue with the children knowing what’s going on when same-sex partners are involved. Why is it any more acceptable to you for mummy to sit down with the kids and say she’s been having an affair with another man and she’s now going to live with him? The hurt for children surely is the breakdown of their stable environment, not the gender of the person their parent leaves to be with?

    And another point on this topic… if society was more accepting of gays and lesbians they would be less inclined to enter into straight relationships in the first place. They would be able to embrace their sexuality and find a same-sex partner that they could live openly with, rather than trying desperately to fit into a society that elevates only straight marriage and children above all other relationships.

    My 2c.

    Andrew, thank you for linking to our blog.

  18. Whoa. I feel like my brain just got twisted into a knot and then thrown really, REALLY far away from my head. Reading all the comments in here has done more permanent damage than a lifetime of drugs might have done!

    Wendy, I think you need to think about the possibility that young people take illegal drugs *because* they are depressed, and *because* they feel the need to escape from the reality which they find so hard to cope with. I agree with you – illegal drugs do not help with depression; they probably make it worse. Drugs like marijuana definitely have a negative effect on depressed people. But most young people with depression will experiement with drugs (and possibly develop lifelong or long-term drug habits) because it is an ‘easy’ method of escaping from their own minds, at least for a while.

    As for your insinuation that I did not do the job I was paid to do because of my depression – I was paid $10,000 for the year, my position description specified that I was to work 18 hours a week, and, on average, I worked about 60 hours per week, doing far, FAR more than was expected of me, working on weekends and in evenings at home, sitting on many more committees and bodies than almost all of my colleagues, putting in more hours than all but two of my colleagues, chairing more meetings, providing more actual productivity, events, and success in my role AND IN OTHERS’ ROLES than almost anyone previously had done. And I did this for so little money that most months I couldn’t afford to pay rent, bills, or transport costs, and ate very litte. I gave up my degree so that I had more time to devote to the organistaion.

    So, yes, I left a few meetings in tears, I cried for a few hours on my desk, I was sad and angry and frustrated and utterly without any self-esteem, but I worked my guts out, and I will not allow anyone to say differently without such a response from me.

    My members got their bloody money’s-worth out of me.

    And I would like to apologise for offending you by my use of swearing – you are absolutely right about this being a public forum, open to a range of people, some more sensitive to language use than myself or the other commenters in this topic. I will endeavour to be more mindful of my swearing in the future, and I thank you for reminding me of this lapse in judgement.

  19. And I really wish Wendy was a sock-puppet. That would be way cool. Sock-puppets are rad.

    My mum once went to a UN conference and took a Sooty puppet with er. Throughout the conference she would seemingly receive ‘advice’ from Sooty, after which she would make comments to the conference. The British delegate was the only other person in the room who got the joke.

    I love my mum!

  20. Thanks BD for the link to TDM, your writing is really substantial and really lays down the gauntlet for other bloggers Andrew, well done.

    Muriels – your linked post of GG was really good, but I don’t fully agree with what you said in your comments here.
    I don’t wish to appear as anyone’s sock puppet, but an increasingly depression[not most] involves amphetamine use, heroin and marijuana users can take a bit longer to experience difficulties with mental health. However in true chicken & egg style, addiction tends to be generated from pre-existing psychological stress anyway and adolescents tend to self-medicate at the onset of psychological illness, which can mask a condition.
    Cheers, ab

  21. Hi Ab

    Thanks. I’m not denying that drug use is an issue – what I was questioning was Wendy’s assertion that the MAJORITY of depression is caused by drug use.

  22. Hello Radicalness.Wow. I bet! they got their monies worth Want a job?Thankyou for such an open reply. I must apologise to you because i thought you were a retired Poly.I love mum too! Good for her. I am glad reading all my comments has had a profound effect on you as it might replace shock treatment. [Just kidding.]You should know however as they say the willing horse gets all the work. I sure do.Your reward is a weekend at a resort on the Gold Coast . Thats to say sorry i got you wrong .I am a bit off polys at the moment. By the way thats a serious offer and my sincere apology. I would be very interested to know what you do now to be honest. Back to the mental health issue. You had reasons to be down and i can understand that much better than you know. I do 12 14 16 hours 7 days without any pay plus pay all the office bills. Dumb am I not. However someone has got to do the job at hand and as I am the only one dedicated enough to kill animals in Australia rather than send them alive I guess I will have to do the job.All the while I receive abuse for my efforts from extremists so yep i understand.
    The Muriels say that there is no proof that mental health comes from people taking drugs. Yes there is i am sorry to say. Thanks for your apology about the swearing Her Radicalness. Please email me by following the contact address on the web sight so i can arrange your holiday weekend. It sounds like you have earned it. Now I do not and never will agree about the poor youth of this counrty.[ more shock treatment] smile. What most of them need is to work the way our parents worked and their parents, parents. The lazy spoilt little brats get far too much. In the old days it was normal to work from 14 even 12 years of age and it set the standards for life. Nowadays center link actually visit universities and such to show kids how to fill out a form for dole money before they even leave rather than show them how to look for a job.
    I know its our fault that we are making them the way they are but saying the poor little dears really bugs me. A kick up the[]would be what most of them need> and a job.Their escape from reality should not be paid for by hard working people. Bored kids are troubled kids. Get a job. There is always a real case but on a whole our youth are an absolute disgrace to our fathers and grandfathers who died fighting to keep this beautiful country for all of us. No doubt I will hear from all the parents with their sad stories now and many of them will be true and sad cases. Please remember I am speaking in general and acknowledge there are some people who really need help that did not just play around with drugs. As I said drug users take the services from others. That actually was my point and its them who are over crowding the system. Now you get back to me about that job something tells me your a country girl.Hey speaking of mental health has anybody checked out the staff?Most of them are high as Kites. Love The name by the way. Something tells me your a dag. Here is the contact link. http://www.halakindmeats.com

  23. To the Muriels family Thankyou for letting me know you support the banning of live exports Vegans are the best people in the world as far as i am concerned. However i get an awful lot of flack from many of them. The thing is we cant take the higher moral ground and not try to work with the other 96 percent of meat eating people in this world. So i am working on share farms with live importers direct with farmers. If we improve that and also improve slaughtering methods and sell direct from the padock with meat plants an absloute max of two hundred miles and preferable fifty its a start. We put them to sleep with a kind gas . The share farms will also grow Halal Vegetables and we will manufacture Alternative meats as well. I beleive once the alternative meats start giving a greater return than animal meats we might be surprised how quicky Allah blesses the alternative product which is far healthier anyway.A rewards programe for cars shoes Tv food whatever to marklet the kinder meat and bobs your uncle.That and a whole lot of work. Just thought you might like to know the plan. If you need a good Dr for a family member Dr Denisee at John Flyn hospital who does bulk bill and is not crazy. Smart bright down to earth guy who really cares. He also works at the northern nsw area two days a week as well.. He helped a friend who was depressed for years and years without drugs. What he did was to care. She changed her life just with his support and even attended a small house warming party. Good luck and may all your troubles be small ones. I dont mean kids actually as i think they are more than likely going to be big ones these days.

  24. To the Muriels [hello dears] Hows tricks > re the gay leso thingy. I dont agree with you at all sorry. The difference is that kids have enough to deal with at the shock of their stable life breaking up without the other little kids saying> cruel things.The very root of our society is based on a marriage with mummy and daddy and people dont want that changed. I saw someone i have known for years go through that and the kids stay here quite often. What were healthy happy kids are gone.Sad angry confused kids are in their place. To answer your question the little girl whom will of course remain unmamed sobbed in our home endlessly not that long ago. Her biggest problem was > if Daddy had to leave us why couldnt he at least make it another women. What am i going to tell my friends?
    I hope that answers your question. I have never worried about gays other than that, until the last election. There is heaps and heaps of info re the abuse of drugs squeezing our mental health system just go and get it.The methodone programe is hugely expensive. best wishes.

  25. Wendy Lewthwaite Says: “…root of our society is based on a marriage with mummy and daddy and people dont want that changed.”

    I am a person who wants it changed.

    The Muriels Says: “…if society was more accepting of gays and lesbians they would be less inclined to enter into straight relationships in the first place. They would be able to embrace their sexuality and find a same-sex partner that they could live openly with, rather than trying desperately to fit into a society that elevates only straight marriage and children above all other relationships.”

    Wendy Lewthwaite Says: “Her biggest problem was > if Daddy had to leave us why couldnt he at least make it another women. What am i going to tell my friends?”

    Children learn how to react to things from their guardian’s behaviour. This child would have seen you reacting and heard you saying the same things.

  26. It seems that Wendy Lewthwaite is just playing devil’s advocate. Unfortunately, there really are people who believe the majority of the things she says. But on the bright side, they’re dying off at an exponential rate, so within a decade or two we should be free of the majority of them. With the exception of Tasmania.

  27. That’s a bit harsh Nic. Tasmania has the best laws in the country these days for non-discriminatory laws and enabling equality, regardless of sexuality. No surprises that federal laws are the worst.

  28. Hi Wendy

    It’s a shame that your friend’s marriage did not last and a broken home is almost always damaging to children (at least initially).

    The fact is, however, that if society as a whole treated same-sex relationships with the validity of heterosexual unions, your little girl would not be having the difficulties of daddy leaving to be with another man.

    I have to agree with Nic in that children learn attitudes from adults and she is no doubt picking up your negativity and the opinions of those around her.

    How about explaining to her that mummy and daddy aren’t going to live with one another any more, but they’ll always be there for her and she is the most important thing in their life.

    Then you could say that some men love women and some men love men – her daddy just happens to love men but it doesn’t mean he loves his little girl any less.

    20% of gays and lesbians in this country have children and they’re growing up just fine, but they need unconditional love and support – same as any child.

    Sounds like your little girl could do with a good dose of it herself. She needs to be nurtured through this difficult time by adults who don’t make her father out to be a “freak”.

    She needs advice on what to tell her friends and when – my suggestion for the moment would simply be “Mum and dad have split up – Dad’s moved out.” End of story. She shouldn’t feel she has to share more than that if she’s not ready.

  29. Wendy

    On the veganism thing… I wouldn’t dream of telling another person not to eat meat – my partner eats meat. Veganism was my choice and mine alone and people who come to it should come of their own free will.

    I applaud what you’re doing with PALE.

  30. Andrew Bartlett Says: “That’s a bit harsh Nic.”

    Hi Andrew,

    That’s just been my personal experience. YMMV.

    Cheers!

  31. Hello To the Muriels Thankyou guys.PALE is working hard and by the way we actually have done some supporting of gays in exceptional circumstances. Normally abuse cases.
    What i am on about is when people leave familes for a gay life. There should be a law against it because kids dont ever recover from that. Its cruel. I dont think anybody cares other than how it hurts children.
    To Nic I find your comments some what amusing if not strange. Lets see now you do not like the truth so you would like people like myself and most of the Australian people to die off. Sounds like your the type of person who needs to be kept away from sensitive kids to me actually. Kids think and make up their own minds Nic. Children being raised in a normal home with mum and dad suddenly having to deal with a marriage break up have enough to deal with without their freinds finding out dad left for another bloke. I was talking about how it effects kids Nic. Not everything is about you. You just made Tasi sound a whole lot more appealing always stayed away from the cold personally.I am not sure if you even have kids or you are just so twisted you have to rubbish people who point out that kids are more effected by this than anybody. I think that stinks. The little girl we know and her two brothers are completly and totally damaged by what happend to them. They refuse to see their dad which is really sad for them. Its their choice and despite offers of camping trips[which they used to love doing as a family the whole three refuse. Their mother is ill with the shock and also seeing her children so effected for life. I surpose you think her and the three children should just die off as well to suit your twisted sexual needs.

  32. Wendy

    If homosexuality was accepted in society, many less gay and lesbian people would marry the opposite sex person in the first place.

    But while people like you continue to use phrases like, “twisted sexual needs” that will never happen, will it?

  33. Oh, Wendy… Kids will believe whatever you tell them. So tell them what a positive thing it is that their Dad is happy and still loves them.

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