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‘Poor form’: Julie Bishop’s ex David Panton’s big break-up mistake according to Angela “The Angle Grinder” Mollard

(Editor) Angela Mollard you should know better. All you are doing is demonising good men, and by the sound of the garbage you wrote below, another time and place to weponise words against men. Sounds like we have had a few too many relationships that have not worked darling? I have found David to be nothing more than the perfect gentlemen, well groomed, well dressed and always approiate around company. If he broke up on sms, he’s a coward, if he did while she was a minister, he’s not supportive, if he did on the phone, he lacks communication empathy – What the hell! Angela, from experience there is no easy way to break up, and most are painfull. But you are NOT them, and he has a much more intimate knowledge of there relationship. So, shut up from the cheap seats and update your own mental and personal emphaty file for other people. Angela’s axe (and 2 minutes of your life you will never get back) is below….

Angela Mollard

Julie Bishop’s ex-partner chose to end the couple’s relationship after eight years, and appeared to make a major error in his execution.

Julie Bishop may not be Australia’s Prime Minister, but she’s a trail blazer for women nationwide.

What was David Panton thinking?

For eight years he’s been the paramour of one of the nation’s most successful and high-profile women, Julie Bishop, and then he reportedly decides to dump her in a restaurant.

And not just any restaurant. A tourist trap where the menu warns diners that seagulls could swoop at any moment.

While Ms Bishop hasn’t spoken up about the incident, one can only imagine it was an unpleasant experience for her. Severing ties with anyone in a restaurant, let alone someone of the calibre of the Hon Julie Bishop, former foreign minister, former deputy leader of the Liberal Party and chair of the Prince of Wales’s Trust, is poor form. It’s uncool and it’s not tactful.

And yet last Friday the man formally and formerly known as Ms Bishop’s Plus One apparently ended their relationship at Sydney’s Eastbank, one of the most recognisable restaurants in one of the most gossipy precincts in the nation.

We know this because he’s confirmed the end of their relationship, telling a newspaper: “I’m going to be focused on living in Manly and Melbourne for the foreseeable future. I wish Julie all the best in her ongoing stellar career.”

It’s courteous enough, if a little matter-of-fact but surely a man of 61 has accumulated sufficient wisdom let alone manners to conduct such matters in private.

Bishop to the Prince
Bishop to the Prince

David Panton recently had the pleasure of dining with Prince Charles in his role as Ms Bishop’s Plus One. Picture: Instagram

His ditching dinner begs a dozen questions. When did he deliver the coup de grace? As soon as they ordered drinks? Did he think he could get away with wolfing down the crab bruschetta ($16) before leaving Ms Bishop to sob into her seafood risotto ($33)?

What if there was a special which caught his eye, some whitebait perhaps or a sticky date pudding or maybe some King Island brie washed down with a nice dessert wine from the Barossa (the man once owned a vineyard)?

If so, he would have had to suffer through the guilt of knowing he was about to deliver unsettling news while willing the waiter to bring the after-dinner delights.

For a man who accompanied Ms Bishop to the United Nations, the Melbourne Cup, the Mexican wedding of TV host Karl Stefanovic and dinner with the heir to the British throne, Mr Panton has shown what appears to be an enormous lack of respect. Not just to the best-dressed woman in Australia but to the conventions of a break-up. How could he summon the right degree of pathos needed to dump a woman renowned for her death stare on national television if seagulls kept nicking his chips?

And what if someone recognised them, which is entirely probable? Was Ms Bishop expected to hold back tears and take a selfie with a well-wisher seconds after being given the news? Or have a chat with a waiter who is a paid-up member of the Liberal Party and voted for her and her ilk for years? How crass to finally part ways in that sort of public glare. And how unthoughtful. Let’s not forget that the woman has connections.

The fact is you should never dump someone in a public place, particularly a restaurant which is an intimate space inhabited by strangers sitting way too close for what one an only imagine is an upsetting episode to be navigated without rubberneckers witnessing the car crash.

The kindest way to split up is to do it where the person who is going to be the recipient of the silver bullet can retreat somewhere private so they can triage their emotions and grieve without scrutiny. Ideally, at their own home where they can play “their song” over and over even if it’s not “their song” anymore.

For obvious reasons, ending a relationship while on holiday or when the other person is already coping with a challenge such as job loss or a sick relative is a no-go. Dumping someone at your home then turfing them out onto the street is just as cruel. Ditto dumping via text, phone call or Snapchat. A letter or email is only acceptable if the person wanting to end the relationship is repeatedly talked out of it by tears, promises or make-up sex.

We don’t know how Ms Bishop is feeling about the end of her relationship because she’s too dignified to say so. She’s been nothing but enthusiastic about Mr Panton throughout their time together.

She spoke about not being able to see him during lockdowns and how she enjoyed his independence and sense of fun. When asked what she liked about him, she quipped that surely that was self-evident. “Have you seen him?” she said.

Now they are no more which means there will be no more hobnobbing with princes and presidents for Mr Panton. We can only hope that after dinner last Friday he had the good grace to pay the bill.

Dash Editor

Self-confessed confused news junkie, with lifelong additions to coffee, great conversations, perfection in all its forms, cold wine, hot music and puppy dogs.

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