Julie Bishop at the Australian British Chamber of Commerce lunch, in Sydney.
Julie Bishop at the Australian British Chamber of Commerce lunch, in Sydney.

James Weir Recap: Julie Bishop’s breaking point

JULIE Bishop's Sunday morning began like that of many around Australia - with a sickening feeling, blurred flashbacks and thoughts of regret and sorrow over unclear events she hoped hadn't actually happened.

She had just whizzed through Perth's City to Surf and was decompressing after a tumultuous week by scrolling through Twitter and laughing at Peter Dutton memes. Suddenly, the glorious scenes flying by in her timeline darkened. That's when she saw it: news of a leaked WhatsApp thread exposing her betrayal at the hands of her colleagues.

Her fury soared. It was anger that began with the fact she taught these bozos what WhatsApp was in the first place. She's the one who started the group chat to laugh at Barnaby Joyce and gab about Married At First Sight. And now these old white men had used her own powers against her by starting a sub-thread to aid her demise. The only bright note: she just knew they had to get one of their kids to show them how to start a new chat.

One message in particular stuck with Julie - the one from Christopher Pyne, telling the others he had informed her of their plans. "I have. Very respectfully," he wrote.

Maybe he did. She honestly couldn't recall. Julie's never once listened to anything Christopher Pyne said, mainly because he looks like the kind of person who owns a Segway.

There was too much to think about so Julie pulled on her Nike compression tights and hit the pavement. Yes, she'd just smashed out a breezy 12km in the City to Surf earlier that morning, but that's just the kind of woman Julie is. Strong and effortless. And running a marathon in a day is just one more thing she can do that her colleagues can't. (Except maybe Tony Abbott.)

She set her iPhone's music app to shuffle. It landed on No Doubt's Just A Girl.

Julie's pace accelerated and her mouth scowled. Usually one for perfect running form, she became reckless and wild as the distorted guitar riffs tore on. Never before had Gwen Stefani's frustration as a pink-haired 20-something girl from Orange County been so relatable to our Foreign Affairs Minister.

"Whoooa, I've had it up to heeeeere," the refrain wailed.

Julie came to a halt and bent over, grasping her knees. It was a moment of clarity. After serving 11 years as the deputy leader of the Liberal party, she'd had enough. She'd dedicated her life to this party, and for what?

She walked through the door of her home with her headphones still on and messaged her media adviser, via WhatsApp. The decision was made.

It takes more than a marathon for Julie Bishop to break a sweat.
It takes more than a marathon for Julie Bishop to break a sweat.

"Today I advised the Prime Minister that I will be resigning from my cabinet position as Minister for Foreign Affairs," she wrote in a statement.

Even though it's the coolest job in the world, she didn't want it anymore. She knows the party that played such cruel tactics at her expense will be lost without her in such a public role. She said last week when the hoopla began she wouldn't be another man's deputy - and she certainly wasn't going to be anyone's fool. Taking control of the mess that was made around her, she quit.

Instead, she'll remain on the backbench, but she said she had no idea what she'd do at the next election.

Speculation grew she could become the next governor-general. And that makes complete sense. Julie would enforce political neutrality while wearing snappy suits and elegant brooches in a way we just haven't seen since Dame Quentin Bryce.

It's the only real outcome to this unfair narrative that would satisfy any of us.



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