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STUNNING: Belinda Neal bounces back

belindanealback Federal Labor MP Belinda Neal’s appearance on ABC show Q&A has been a huge success according to surprised viewers on Twitter.

The response – particularly among women – to the MP who has suffered from multiple media attacks during the past year was overwhelming with the social networking service inundated with strongly supportive messages.

There was almost a sense of shock among viewers that Neal was so articulate, reasonable and impressive, so harsh have the mainstream media been.

A Current Affair and the Daily Telegraph in particular pursued Belinda Neal with a blood-curdling sense of predatory menace, initially over an incident that boiled down to her being unhappy with the service she got as a pub. Standing up for yourself against dodgy service is a plus in our book but let’s not go back over that old ground.

Neal was lavished with praise by a mix of Twitter contributors who seem to span from Liberals, to Labor and Greens, looking at their commentary.

They were particularly struck by Neal’s confident and measured way she dealt with the very sensitive question she received about her marriage. We have just watched the replay of the show and she certainly did shine.

Some of the comments on Twitter indicate that the real Belinda Neal when allowed to be shown is a very different woman from the way ACA was keen to depict her:

bglilley Belinda Neal was also very impressive.

PeterBlackQUT belinda neal handled herself quite well …

derekbarry Agree with Tony. That WAS a good answer from Belinda Neal on marriage

jdub #qanda was great tonight. Belinda Neal exceeded expectations,

RedBaff #qanda Belinda Neal is coming across very well…

hkbf RT @godwingrech: How bizarre. Belinda Neal kicked butt. The world has gone completely mad. coming from me, that’s quite a statement

just4karns Beginning to like Belinda Neal. #qanda #surprising

paulzag RT @josh_jerga #qanda Does Belinda Neal have a evil twin? She’s endearing

felixexplody wow, Belinda Neal is a pretty amazing woman.#qanda

@aaronmagner Wow Belinda Neal is handling this reasonably well #qanda (must be very difficult!)

clerehan Belinda Neal. Brave. #qanda

belindaneal dlewis89 Agreed. If this is a PR stunt, it’s working. RT MoreOj ouch and it’s out there … god I actually feel sorry for BelindaNeal #qanda

kedgie F*ck, Belinda Neal just answered that question with more dignity than I could muster given the circumstances.

kathodonnell nice one belinda neal #qanda

novan_ Belinda Neal did well in holding her ground #qanda

MediaOwl Belinda Neal seems very measured and very controlled on #qanda

northonm31 belinda neal actually has an impressive intellect and an articulate way of constructing her points #qanda

annehelena I’m horrified that I’m agreeing with Belinda Neal.#qanda

BernardKeane so far the only person who seems halfway rational is Belinda Neal, who has said about three words.

kieranbennett Belinda Neal making sense, wow! #qanda

clintonduncan Belinda Neal on #qanda – omg what a strong woman with all the media crap she’s been through!

felixexplody Belinda Neal appears to have a new, and more capable, stylist #qanda #yeahimahypocrite

PhilWillis Wow! Belinda Neal the voice of reason on #qanda who would have thought it

timothypgraham Why is Belinda Neal making sense…

ozvogel Looking forward to hearing Belinda Neal tonight. What is her crime, being rude when she was mucked around in a restaurant? #qanda

JudeEkerick RT @godwingrech: Bogan Bylinda Neal is actually quite a good advocate. Was she a lawyer before she turned Gosford feral? #qanda

AndrewFyfe I think Belinda is right – youth unemployment will become a rather huge issue in the next 18 months #qanda

hkanasa #qanda Belinda neale is not such a witch after all

A very strong effort indeed.

During the storm over her complaint about bad service at a pub, it seemed likely at one stage that the NSW ALP would be keen to move Belinda Neal on from federal parliament. That’s now completely off the agenda due to the warm public response to her interview in Women’s Weekly and now last night’s tour de force.

The way she’s going not only is she going to hold her marginal central coast seat, she’s well on the way to becoming a much higher profile national leader known for her strong public presentation skills, her dignity and immeasurable courage.

We suspect she might even get a swing to her as voters can see in full public display that the strongest steel comes from the hottest fire and that if she can endure all that they’re very unlikely to find a representative who’ll fight as hard for their interests as she can.

Well worth checking out the whole show which is online on the ABC’s website.


Comments are disallowed for this post.

  1. She did do well, didn’t she?

    Persistence is so important in politics.

    Posted by exellent | October 9, 2009, 9:07
  2. Well done Belinda, stick up those tabloid tossers.

    Posted by good job | October 9, 2009, 11:50
  3. Belinda ‘bounces’not, from what I see it is much more like Belinda ‘sags’!!!!

    Posted by anon | October 9, 2009, 12:08
  4. To keep it in perspective, we should remembered that when expectations are below zero, even the most mundane of performances can seem reasonable. The real test will be Robertson voters, who are much more familiar with Belinda’s long term behaviour than are the twittering television watchers from outside the area.

    I’m sure that with every passing day, more and more locals are coming to fully appreciate what Belinda has to offer, and I sincerely hope she gets everything she deserves.

    Posted by Norman Hanscombe | October 9, 2009, 18:05
  5. bouncing? boring as batshit

    Posted by Astounded of Melbourne | October 9, 2009, 18:18
  6. It was good performance.
    She must now get exposure in her seat.
    Composure plus
    Full marks

    Posted by candid | October 9, 2009, 18:20
  7. Interesting Andy… seems we have forgotten the Devil Baby comments

    Posted by mick | October 9, 2009, 19:15
  8. Let’s hope the “new Belinda” fools enough of the mugs to ensure she holds on to pre-selection.With her running that’s at least one seat the Libs can count on winning.

    Posted by Anonymous | October 9, 2009, 19:55
  9. Belinda do not text me under any circumstances. I’m with my mate Barry Obama on this one, You can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig……

    Posted by RDR | October 9, 2009, 19:57
  10. Why dont the spin doctors & alp head office ask the voters of robertson & the branch members of robertson what they really think solidarity for the union makes us strong

    Posted by ubique | October 9, 2009, 21:24
  11. check out that jaw line she is more of a man than her hubby

    Posted by Anonymous | October 9, 2009, 21:37
  12. She looks like the Qantas Attendant who liked “mile high club” adventures with British actors. “Squeeeeeeeel”

    Posted by Miss Piggy | October 9, 2009, 21:39
  13. Still looks like the ‘after’ shot in a gender reassignment ad to me.
    Not sure who qualifies for the ‘before’ shot…

    Posted by Gregoryno6 | October 9, 2009, 22:25
  14. As I told her and hubby John I supported her to displace Jim Lloyd from the seat of Robertson. Because I thought she was the best “tool” for the job, not because she had anything better to offer the electorate. Iguanas was never a “pub” and the workers statutory declarations still stand unchallenged by any court. And “trodded” used twice by the stumbling Federal politician is not a word I would replace downtrodden with. I am aware branch members around the Woy Woy Peninsula are sick of the head office bullying and have started talking of and actually leaving the Labor party, both Labor and Liberal would know that. It was instructive what Janet A from the Australian had to say about how politicians are using the media. Spin is nothing but expensive taxpayer funded bul$#it which we could all do without ! Edward James Umina CBD

    Posted by Edward James | October 10, 2009, 5:53
  15. One swallow doesnt make a summer or should it be Leopards never change their spots

    Posted by scarlet pimpernel | October 10, 2009, 8:00
  16. I don’t often feel the need to defend ALP Sydney Head Office, but it’s grossly unfair of Edward James and others to blame them for Belinda’s imposition on the Robertson Electorate. She was part of Kevin Rudd’s personal “new talent” collection for NSW seats, and the unanimous vote of the Canberra Executive who appointed her, so we should give credit where credit is due.

    Nor can Edward James take any of the credit for her election. The real heroes who helped us sneak Belinda over the line were the Greens (with their unprecedented strong directed flow of preferences) and the Liberal candidate himself (who was as dead as a doornail during the campaign, and might just as well have been travelling the Trans Siberian railway for all the impact he had)

    With all this going for Belinda, many were amazed the seat was still so close. I doubt it will be that close again, as local voters know her much better now than they did in 2007, and don’t need to rely on television programmes (and certainly NOT twittering ‘interpretations’ of those programmes) to form an opinion.

    Nowadays, they DO know who she is.

    Posted by Norman Hanscombe | October 10, 2009, 9:20
  17. I dont blame della for pumping a few younger ones – she’s cold as ice.

    Posted by The sexy Iguana called joe | October 10, 2009, 11:03
  18. Pity no one watches Q & A isn’t it?

    Posted by Anonymous | October 10, 2009, 18:07
  19. How many filters on that photo?

    Posted by Anonymous | October 10, 2009, 18:07
  20. 2 decades ago she could have been a cast member of “Les Girls” at the Ritz Hotel in St Kilda.

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | October 10, 2009, 18:50
  21. When politicians especially those party members at grass roots level start using spin, voters must be very careful. I understand the two parties not much preferred are both suffering damage and loosing members as a rsult of factional fighting and bullying. I took my due credit for helping destroy Lloyd years ago. Others have no doubt my very public efforts as a independent voter, standing outside the pre polling booth across the road from Jim Lloyds Robertson Office in Mann Street had great effect.Click the link above. I will never forget the front page of the now defunct Central Coast SUN Weekly where on the 8 of November 2007 Paul Callaghan reported the Prime Minister John Howard while visiting Somersby said We’ll fix highway. We all of us witnessed the fact and I wrote about it on my front fence among other places that the Prime Minister desperate for another term was prepared to reach over the dead bodies of five people ( the Bragg and Holt families Piles Creek) to buy votes for Jim Lloyd. Not a peep from anyone in the local Labor Party. At least one party member is considering how he may distance himself from the bullying of those who support Belinda Neal’s nomination for the seat of Robertson again while still retaining his political influence. Something about not being able to find a place big enough to accommodate those party members wishing to move away from what I believe may be an actual abuse of party process. Edward James Umina CBD

    Posted by Edward James | October 10, 2009, 19:20
  22. Central Coast residents know she’s a fraud cause they fell for her photoshopped coreflute last time. Blokes actually walked into polling booths thinking they were voting for a hot blonde. We won’t forget her face or her dirty antics this time.

    Posted by The Captain | October 10, 2009, 21:12
  23. There is a story doing the rounds, that some local leaders may be looking for a property large enough for all those wishing to escape from Belinda-fifedom in Robertson to move away, but enquiries indicate their is not a big enough building available. But with such a large growd of unhappy party members I expect their party problems would follow them. They have yet to understand Belinda is only a part of the problem Labor have. Voters are wandering in a political wilderness searching for a viable option.

    Edward James Umina CBD

    Posted by Edward James | October 11, 2009, 0:37
  24. The labour party great such Curtin , Chifley & McKell must be looking down on the incredable disonesty , spin & rampant self interest 7 wondering where a once great party went wrong

    Posted by Bill Starke | October 11, 2009, 7:37
  25. When the Labor Party was born its members had their own backbones. Now with diminished membership bullies have taken over.

    Posted by Edward James | October 11, 2009, 20:34
  26. She used to look like a bush pig. There is some improvement. Now she looks like a bush pig with a nice hairstyle.

    Posted by Beerpussy. | October 11, 2009, 20:56
  27. Why are so many obsessed with Belinda’s appearance? Society is the loser if we concentrate on such peripheral issues. What makes a successful politician is the ability to understand how people feel, and relate to them in an engaging manner. To make them feel that you’re a warm caring person who listens to, understands, and cares about their needs.

    If Belinda Neal has this sort of empathy with her fellow human beings, being as photogenic as some demand is irrelevant. Robertson voters will be making their decision on the person they’ve come to know, NOT a photograph on the window of her office.

    Posted by Norman Hanscombe | October 12, 2009, 9:16
  28. Im surprised that Norman Hanscombe can be so supportive of Belinda Neal in a public forum. While you lay out for readers what you feel makes a successful politician. I can understand why you would not actually build on a fantasy by telling us she actually posesses these qualities. I note you do question if she has empathy with fellow human beings. Could it be when clearly spinning for Labor you feel a political need to try and make a silk purse out of the proverbial sows ear? Good luck with that!

    Posted by Edward James | October 13, 2009, 8:02
  29. Be buggered if she’s getting in my car – she can walk.

    Posted by RDR | October 14, 2009, 14:32
  30. Edward, your understanding is even worse than your spelling.

    Posted by Norman Hanscombe | October 14, 2009, 14:34
  31. If it was not for my career in politics – I would have been a cast member of “Les Girls” at the Ritz Hotel in St Kilda.

    Posted by Chrissy Pyne | October 14, 2009, 15:32
  32. Norman, I am told by unhappy taxpayers I am getting the job done and should keep going. Did you know you have exactly the same name as the president of a litle branch of the ALP somewhere up the valley from gosford. Very good with words and speling. He appears to have a problem following the Labor Party that bloke feels differently to you on the subject of BN he reckons she is unsuited for politics do you know that president? Very eloquent chap writs stuff similar to For Belinda Neal to be relected we’d need a miracle ! A miracle far supassing anything as simple as, for example, the parting of the Red Sea. I may not be a gifted or well educated spella fella but I believe in what i am doing. Edward James. Umina CBD

    Posted by Edward James | October 14, 2009, 20:21
  33. Edward, I believe you believe. An Austrian house painter called Adolph showed a similar strength in his beliefs, as he set about trying to help Germany.

    Fortunately, you seem to have less ability than that gentleman did, so you’ll do less damage to any causes you decide to support.

    Posted by Norman Hanscombe | October 15, 2009, 7:39
  34. Norman, To be fair, much of this isn’t Belinda’s fault. As I pointed out to her and her hubby John later on the same day. I believed she was simply the best tool for the job which I needed done. Displace Jim lloyd from the seat of Robertson. I ageree with the Labor Party President fella who I understand wrote something close to this “She (Belinda Neal) shouldn’t be in any form of politics,” What about you Norman do you think she should be in any form of politics ? Keep in mind I believe Labor party members are told what they are to think. A few years ago while I was protesting the systemic corruption accomadated by State politicians. Calling out to all who would listen, Norman. I had my very own road to Damascus moment! I was actually attempting to sleep among the rags of blankets in my ute, when I realised that while I was claiming more democracy flowed down the gutter with the rain, than flowed from the oldest Parliament in this country. I was being a hypocrite. While you Norman may point out to all our readers that I cant even spell propper the many of the words I use. I had realised first hand what the word hypocrite means. There I was fighting for my Labor party voting fathers right to be protected from cowardly attacks by the Comonwealth of Australia Constitution Act. Screaming at the top of my voice all day for weeks and months, and I had never voted. I imediatly packed up the ute given to me by a supporter. And drove home and registered to vote. Do you think your name sake Norman Hanscombe the president fella up the little valley from gosford D you think he may understand the meaning of the word hypocrite Norman? He writes a little like Mr. Peirs Ackerman. In fact I like the way both Norman Hanscombe and Piers hang their words on a line, making them more attractive even than pretty flowers almost poetic some times… Piers I mean not Norman. I have always been willing to learn even from my political oppoisites.
    I am sure our readers look forward to the next amuseing exchange between us, perhaps you could expand on what it is you believe I believe? Tell us tell Norman how you know. Have you been reading my mail? Kind regards from the novice political activist intent on destroying the political careers of every politician whoignored my father calls for protection. Edward James, Umina CBD

    Posted by Edward James | October 16, 2009, 1:33
  35. Oh Edward. Exchanges with you are more sad than amusing. I’m sure the Labor Party would be wildly enthusiastic about you being a candidate — provided it was as a candidate for the Liberal Party. Mind you, I’m not sure the Liberal Party would be as enthusiastic?

    Posted by Norman Hanscombe | October 17, 2009, 10:03
  36. E.J. states

    She (Belinda Neal) shouldn’t be in any form of politics,” What about you Norman do you think she should be in any form of politics ? Keep in mind I believe Labor party members are told what they are to think.

    If you really know anything about Norman surely you would know that he doesn’t ever do what he is told by others, but rather thinks things through for himself.

    And if you think he is spinning BN I would have to suggest you go and have a good lie down in the back of the ute.

    And as you will slowly grasp I am NH’s brother but I am not spinning for him but just amazed at your nonsense.

    Good luck EJ.

    Posted by Anonymous | October 17, 2009, 10:32
  37. Sorry EJ I hit the submit button prematurely and wasn’t meaning to be anonymous.

    Posted by Brian Hanscombe Belrose | October 17, 2009, 10:35
  38. Another question EJ what’s with the crap of always misspelling just because it was noted once.Strange man you aren’t funny.
    Just play it straight.

    Posted by Brian Hanscombe Belrose | October 17, 2009, 10:38
  39. Those defending Belinda are close to one of Oscar Wilds saying about fox hunting the unspealable chasing the uneatable

    Posted by Bill Strake | October 17, 2009, 14:40
  40. With all this flak flying around, thank Heavens I’m just a disinterested casual bystander. I try to avoid controversy. Why, I don’t even get Wilde about Oscar comments.

    Posted by Norman Hanscombe | October 17, 2009, 15:51
  41. Norman I dont believe you are a disinterested casual bystander. I believe you are a Labor Party branch President. Who has been caught out? For the information of annon who claimes to be your brother Norman, who clearly miss read what i wrote On the 16 of October at 1.33 (I quoted a bit of the letter written by the Labor Party Branch President Norman Hanscombe your namesake from the little valley just up from Gosford. I agree with the Labor Party President fella who I understand wrote something close to this “She (Belinda Neal) shouldn’t be in any form of politics,” What about you Norman do you think she should be in any form of politics ? Keep in mind I believe Labor party members are told what they are to think. Readers who know me know I have my own agenda and it works for me. Who else do you know who has identified both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Gosford City Council as liars several times in their local newspaper. It is a shame that Labor and Liberal Party members on Gosford City Council voted a couple of liars beck in but then that’s why people are identifying Labor and Liberal coalition as the two parties not much preferred. Norman I bet you wish you were a disinterested casuel bystander but I believe you are the person who authored the two pages from which I have been selectively quoting here and elsewhere. Brian Hanscombe There is a Labor sub brance president with the same name as the person you are claiming is your brother. The thing is readers there is a letter circulating as work product from the hand of a Labor Party sub branch president, who has the same surname as fellas posting comments on this string. Here is another Quote from the prez “Normally, in light of Belinda’s repeatedly displayed inability to deal effectively with fellow human beings, one could assume the terrible mistake of 2007 would not be repeated”
    I dont believe there are actually two Norman Hanscombs both worried about the Federal Mamber for Robertson.

    Posted by Edward James | October 18, 2009, 0:10
  42. Edward, after reading what you write, for most readers of this blog the biggest act of faith (for anyone not actually knowing you personally) must be to accept that YOU are real.

    But dream on, because you’ll never be up to more than that.

    p.s. By the way, Eddie, never read Swift’s “Modest Proposal”, or you’ll think (as some of the less astute dabblers in politics did at the time) it’s an official plan.

    Posted by Norman Hanscombe | October 18, 2009, 8:58
  43. EJ

    Well at least I know who my brother is.
    I don’t always agree with everything he says but I have never experienced such strang mutterings like yours coming from him.
    Could you please advise what the CBD after your name means as I have been going through a few thoughts and I hope it isn’t what I think it could be.
    Last thought about your inability to spell.Please use the spell check and it will make you “appear” to be at least a little normal.
    Brian WMTWYS

    Posted by Brian Hanscombe Belrose | October 18, 2009, 15:22
  44. I am pleased to write Brian Hanscombe of Belrose, so do many thousands of voters who read Saturdays 17 Telegraph. It appears Norman Hanscombe is President of a little alp group in Narara Vally and the author of a letter which reveals so much of what he has written in this string of vexnews is just the work of a political hypocrite. Silly stuf like this posted on the 17 “With all this flak flying around, thank Heavens I’m just a disinterested casual bystander.” I have been quoting from hise two page letter. Below is the last parragraph dated the 5 October 2009

    It’s been suggested I look for a property large enough for all those wishing to escape from Belinda-Benighted Robertson to move there as well, but preliminary enquiries indicate that it’s unlikely a sufficiently large building could be obtained. In any case, I’m unsure whether such a disparate group (united only by our determination to save the Party from Belinda) would have enough in common to make this a viable option.

    Yours Fraternally,

    Norman Hanscombe. unquote

    Job done.
    Edward James Umina CBD

    Posted by Edward James | October 18, 2009, 16:42
  45. Pleasing, Edward of the Umina CBD poor imitation of the Steptoe & Sons establishment, to see that finally your’e “done”. Half baked as usual with your fantasies, overdone as always with your convoluted ‘explanations’, but served, as those who encounter you recognise as your trademark entree, a hefty serving of tripe.

    Any wonder you’re always being done like a dinner?

    Bon appetit.

    Posted by Norman Hanscombe | October 21, 2009, 8:31
  46. May be we should be suggesting that Peter Dutton come down to the seat of Robertson & for it , though he would have to go through a democratic pre selection as practiced by the liberal party unlike the n40 rule used by the undemocratic labour party to parachute some unwanted good old girl such as the current sitting member in solidarity

    Posted by Bill Starke | October 21, 2009, 11:28


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