Prime Minister Scott Morrison must resign

Ever since the bushfire crisis last year when Scott Morrison disappeared to Hawaii, it has been clear that there is something amiss with our prime minister. Upon his return, he traveled to affected areas and was accosted by angry and traumatised victims. His response was to embarrass himself and shock victims by forcing them to appear in friendly poses for the media:

Now Morrison finds himself in deep water instead of fire as he wrestles with the fallout from the Brittany Higgins alleged rape case. He is not doing any better. Ms Higgins yesterday press released her feelings on the matter:

“I didn’t know that security guards let me into Minister Reynolds’ suite. I didn’t know that a security guard came into the office multiple times seeing me in a state of undress. I didn’t know they were undertaking an internal review into how the matter was handled at the time. I didn’t know that they debated calling an ambulance at the time of the incident.

“A current senior staffer to the Prime Minister and my former chief-of-staff refused to provide me with access to the CCTV footage from that evening and continually made me feel as if my ongoing employment would be jeopardised if I proceeded any further with the matter.

Late yesterday, PM Morrison stuck his foot in it again:

“I am very sorry she feels that way.

I know she must be under tremendous stress over the course of this week. She has shown great courage and great bravery in speaking up over these matters. I have been listening to what she’s been saying and I am seeking to put in place arrangements, whether it is the support of staff who are here in this building here and now and will be feeling, I think, increasingly fragile or vulnerable because of the nature of these events that have arisen this week. The best way I can I think address those comments is to ensure that I am doing everything within my power to try and make this a safer place.”

How about just “sorry” instead of more victim-blaming putting the onus back on Higgins. As for listening. Again, why does he not already know how to behave?

Moreover, there is this atrocious development:

No doubt the PM will find out about it in two years’ time. Higgins responded with basic Aussie dignity at The Guardian:

It’s gross.

There is more evidence today that illustrates how preposterous the claim that Morrison knew nothing, at The Australian:

One of Scott Morrison’s staffers was “mortified” after learning of an incident involving Brittany Higgins in early April 2019, ­according to explosive new text messages casting doubt over whether senior members of the Prime Minister’s office found out only last Friday about the alleged rape in a ministerial suite.

The Australian has obtained a text message sent to Ms Higgins by a fellow Liberal staffer on the morning of April 3, 2019, within a fortnight of when the alleged rape occurred. In the text the Liberal staffer said he had spoken directly with a member of Mr Morrison’s staff.

“Spoke to PMO. He was mortified to hear about it and how things have been handled,” the text says. “He’s going to discuss with COS — no one else. I flagged need for councillor (sic) and desire to be closer to home during election.”

And this, at Domain:

It is impossible to square the circle, right now, on what his office knew. Higgins says Finkelstein called her last November to “check in” when the ABC’s Four Corners reported on the treatment of women in the Liberal party. Morrison says the phone records do not show this call.

The call makes no sense if Finkelstein thought Higgins was only involved in a security breach, so proof of the call would require this trusted adviser to fall on his sword – not only for knowing more than claimed but for concealing the call.

There is also the clear suggestion that having been dismissed, the alleged rapist was parachuted into a plumb lobbying job while the cover-up intensified, also at The Guardian:

The department which oversees parliament house has confirmed incident reports after the alleged sexual assault of former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins in 2019 were not handed to police until two weeks after the incident.

Guardian Australia has been told the security incident report from the Department of Parliamentary Services was withheld initially from the Australian federal police, despite multiple requests, and was only provided after the police escalated inquiries.

Higgins has alleged she was assaulted in Linda Reynolds’ ministerial office on the night of 22 March by a more senior colleague. The former staffer told Guardian Australia she gave an informal statement to police at parliament house on 27 March after disclosing her recollections to Reynolds’ then-chief of staff the previous day.

Those discussions prompted the termination of the alleged perpetrator’s employment. The Guardian can reveal he had “at least two detailed references” when he later went for a job with a Sydney-based public relations and registered lobbyist firm in the months after the attack.

Higgins said when she spoke to police at parliament house on 27 March they already seemed to have information about events on the night of the alleged assault. “They were filling in blanks for me,” she said, which made it “a strange” but supportive conversation at a traumatic time.

But she said when her complaint went to the sexual assault and child abuse team in Belconnen, police there conveyed the impression there was stonewalling from parliamentary officials about handing over relevant material.

…Reynolds has denied she wrote a reference for her ex-staffer and says she has had no further contact with him following his termination. But she would not say on Thursday whether senior staff in her office provided any references.

So far, there has been no accountability. Senator Linda Reynolds, whose office was the scene of the alleged crime, who had it steam cleaned before any evidence could be collected and then interviewed Ms Higgins in the same office, is still all over the place with the timelines of who knew what when.

If she can’t handle something as important as this with probity, process and legal standing in a timely manner then she has to be sacked. No doubt PM Morrison is letting a head of steam develop before he does so in the hope that that will relieve the pressure cooker and bury the issue. In other words, it’s more disgraceful politicking.

And that goes to the heart of what is wrong with our PM. The dissociative behavior so obvious to fire victims has expressed itself again. This time it is in horrendous judgement and ethics indistinguishable from malevolence. Under PM Morrison, parliament has developed catastrophically diffused responsibility, as well as collapsed chains of command and accountability structures such that it is no longer possible to balance the needs and interests of an individual versus the group.

This is no way to run a democracy. It is how to run a mafia. It is a fatal breakdown of public service ethos that runs from the alleged criminal treatment of one Australian to an open violation of the interests of every Australian.

There is only one appropriate course of action now. Prime Minister Scott Morrison must resign.

David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)

Comments

      • Forrest GumpMEMBER

        Yep.
        ScottyFromMarketing has each one of them by the balls.
        They either support scotty or scotty will rip their balls off and hand them to the media.
        Linda Reynolds is no exception. Scotty knew, and directed Reynolds to bury it. She did.
        Now Scotty has got her by the balls whatevers. She knows it and she’ll be thrown under the bus. Same as Bridget Mackenzie was with Sports Rorts.

        Morriscum is safe. He’s not going anywhere, until he’s thrown them all under the bus, then he’s got nothin’ on no-one..coz they are all gone…

  1. Scomo is a legend. Only dumb lefties would want the PM to resign because they can’t beat him at the polls. He has steered Oz through the China virus crisis with flying colours and leading the economy to a strong recovery. But yeah go pick on an insignificant issue which has nothing to do with him.

        • Alleged rape then, as you like

          Jeez, so because the police haven’t charged anyone (yet), it’s not an (alleged) rape. And alleged rape is identity politics.

          Like I said, cool story bro.

        • So all the times scomo has raped this country and its people, you ignore

          But now this barely credible story of rape of one c*nt (and I use it freely for a liberal party staffer) which he was barely even aware of let alone involved in perpetrating, and it’s time for him to quit ?

          It’s an absurd argument which is classic idpol : his response to a rape allegation is more important than his performance, as you know a prime minister ?

          You’re caught up in the hysteria
          That’s how these people function

          It’s just amusing that this time it’s scomo caught up in it

        • Declaring yourself a victim/survivor before a trial is most definitely a feminist idea which has poisoned society and the legal system. Feminism is most definitely keen on destroying the presumption of innocence and if feminists and their defactos continue to do that they won’t be given presumption of innocence in the court of public opinion. If it were up to feminism there would be rape lotteries where random men were sent to prison.

        • Indeed – the word “alleged” ia used many times. Should be heading for “due process” and the courts. Hardly think that your very provocative attack on the Pm is either appropriate or warranted. What you have managed to do is provoke a whole series of low life comments. I thought Macrobusiness was established principally for business matters of interest. Clearly that’s not the case and you have dumped a biased opinion piece into the mix.

      • It is for both sides because that is politics today. Weaponise everything.
        Sexual assault if it is against your opponent but disgruntled psycho if she is accusing someone on your team.
        I’d be inclined to leave it to the AFP to investigate and if the timeline indicates political interference or pressure (highly likely and not needing a criminal level of proof) heads should roll.

  2. He won’t resign until Jenny tells him to.

    Meanwhile, the alleged perpetrator has apparently checked himself in to hospital where of course his identity gets protected.

  3. A horrible incident, and it is very likely that key staffers and ministers did shield PM from this at an election time. If, on hearing rumors of such an incident, you could carry on unconcerned about people around you – then that itself is concerning.
    Though unpopular, this is a time to follow process – not to hang, draw and quarter. Need to avoid the rise of martyrs . Immediately there should be a formal censor of the minsters and PM, and their staff.

    • RobotSenseiMEMBER

      The problem is that this isn’t exactly new form for this mob.
      It’s the same MO: I know nothing, you’d have to ask person X, nobody is ever accountable, I reject the premise of the question, etc etc.
      I actually agree that it would be a bit off-putting for this to be the singular issue that brings down a PM. But as the article mentions, this is hardly a step out of line for SFM. Nobody ever resigns unless they’re thrown under the bus, and even that was for a technical breach rather than the heart of the matter (see: Sports Rorts).

      SFM should absolutely have gone after Robodebt. I fail to see any reason why he should be protected any longer.

  4. She did go to the police. DPS took two weeks to provide statements from security. She then withdrew her complaint to the AFP due to what she claims to be pressure to ‘not let the team down so close to an election’.

  5. ApotheoticMalaise

    The fact that Scott Morrison remained silent for two years and continues to sweep this under the rug, all while invoking the good graces of his daughters, shows that he cares more for his own political career than addressing a rape culture within his own workplace (and society at large) that own his daughters are subject to.

    Scott Morrison has been, and still is, in a position of affecting positive cultural change in the Liberal Party. He has distinctly chosen not to – even at the expense of his own daughters. The bloke is subhuman scum.

    edit: imagine for a minute what type of person, what type of father of daughters you’d be… covering for a rapist. Scott Morrison needs to go, along with the rape-apologists around him.

    • shows that he cares more for his own political career

      Why is this is a surprise? It describes a substantial proportion of them. Too much power is vested in these servents of the citizenry.

    • edit: imagine for a minute what type of person, what type of father of daughters you’d be… covering for a rapist.

      There’s no cognitive dissonance if you don’t think it happened (or she deserved it). Scotty’s daughters are, of course, good girls – so they’d never let something like this happen to them.

  6. Scummo has always reminded me of Kevin Spacey from House of Cards and how all of a sudden during a leadership challenge he emerges as the final leader. Then wins the election narrowly.. all while never having a humane bone in his body. And Malcolm is the only one who knows he’s been had by him. He has finally figured it out and comes out swinging at scummo any chance he gets now.

    • If House Of Cards, Simpsons, and The Family Guy don’t tell you that you’re watching & engaging in puppet theatre then there is no hope. Simpsons & Family Guy water it down so an ‘idiot’ child or teenager gets the message with lots of crass in your face humour & $ hit & Pooh jokes. House Of Cards for the intellect who believes they know something about politics and how the world works cos once well respected, [email protected] child living spacey plays the president along with [email protected] breaking most beautiful woman in the world (princess bride) drag monster pulls the puppet strings. Puppet show for adults

    • SchnitzelEaterMEMBER

      Malcolm is far from the only person who has been shafted by ScoMo and knows it. Both Tony Abbott and Michael Towke (cheated out of his pre-selection for the electorate of Cook) are in the same boat. There’d more than likely be a raft of other people in his pre-parliamentary career that suffered the same fate so he could continue his long slide up the greasy pole.

      • Frank DrebinMEMBER

        So she is slinging mud because she didn’t raise it at the the time, and he is guilty because he got the sack and didn’t raise it as an issue at the time ?.

        This is all very confusing. Maybe they were both passed out…..

      • And the radical notion that women are human beings, however also saints martyrs and victims that have a privileged holiday on moral agency, moral robots that are also a privileged innocent class while simultaneously being ‘oppressed’.

    • It is said that humour is intelligence at play which would explain why you are not funny. What also is not funny is just how far away from middle Australia you are and that doesn’t make it a good thing.

    • “Any empathy for the bloke who has had his life destroyed by this possibly fake accusation ?”
      We may never know because of the considerable efforts made to derail/delay an appropriate investigation, remove/withhold evidence and pressure the victim into not pursuing the matter. Either you haven’t read all the information available or just aren’t interested in it. It’s a sad world when people refuse to condemn this sort of behaviour from those in public office.

  7. He won’t go until he’s punted
    Problem is that this is not an issue that will mobilise the angry mob to punt him
    Unless he’s rolled by his party, this will be ridden out and some low ranking schlub will take the fall

    Witness yesterdays Facebook distraction. Another 2 or 3 of those and this issue disappears

    • I'll have anotherMEMBER

      Man I couldn’t believe the amount of articles about the same thing, on the same news website used to bury the Scomo story.

      Like 5 or 6 FB stories, 1 or 2 common interest stories then the Scomo thing.

      Hectic.

  8. For some reason this tune popped into my head..
    Musical Misery courtesy The Smiths…

    The devil will find work for idle hands to do
    I stole and I lied, and why?
    Because you asked me to!
    But now you make me feel so ashamed
    Because I’ve only got two hands
    Well, I’m still fond of you, oh-ho-oh
    So, what difference does it make?
    Oh, what difference does it make?
    Oh, it makes none
    But now you have gone
    And your prejudice won’t keep you warm tonight

  9. Yep another drag monster puppet in a frock crying [email protected]))
    IMO MSM political stunt which will do nothing to ease the pain of natural women who experience the profound horror of rape at knife point & left for dead after the fact:( Sick to death of political imposters feigning empathy.

      • Gough?

        Running at knives. There are exceptions

        There was a great article comparing the approaches of PMs – avoiding getting hit vs running at knives. I think it was by Uhlman, yesterday in Smage.

        • bjw678 is awesome

          I really couldn’t say. Before my time and history is always someone’s narrative.
          I suspect both sides were much better back then, when the government actually had a serious amount of responsibility for running actual stuff. When there is nothing to do, what do you do?

      • this is the truth. when will people realise that politicians and priests are the people who aren’t happy until they’re interfering in other people’s lives. Politicians need attention and adulation otherwise they’re not happy – that’s why covid has been so great, those guys are having the worst time. what drives them is power, playing games, outsmarting, winning whether they’re male or female.

        • bjw678 is awesome

          I think the lot of them are more not right than they used to be.
          Potentially because anyone with a higher intellect can see the future MB predicts is getting more and more likely and has decided now is probably not the best time to be in politics?

          • You mean the completely gone left bias that MB paints. This is perhaps the worst article that they and he have written

    • “The fact that this is playing out in the media says much about Australia”
      Sure, it says we are an elective representative democracy where both sides score points against the other in any way possible in an attempt too win the prize of power over the country for the next few years. A not insignificant prize that is worth much effort and a little mud slinging.

    • I don’t agree with all your comments here. Though this smells like the police were involved, they couldn’t find enough to make charges stick and then the media were tipped off to smear reputations.
      We have law enforcement bodies for a reason. Same as we have courts for a reason. If the dude is guilty (whether it is rape or any other assault charge) then the matter should be dealt with by the bodies that enforce the law. Not the bl$$dy media.
      Something smells here…

    • Ailart SuaMEMBER

      “If there was a case to answer, why wouldn’t they have pressed charges ?”

      As I read – because the alleged victim didn’t want charges laid. Not many rape victims do, due to the negativity it brings upon them and what they have to endure through the court process. If it was me who was the alleged rapist – and I was genuinely innocent, I would have come forward and publicly stated my side of the events by now. (unless I was being prevented to do so through some prior ‘arrangement’ with the LNP establishment.) Checking into a mental hospital – whether on the advice of my lawyer or not, would definitely not have been my choice, had I been innocent.

      • Ailart SuaMEMBER

        How do you know she was happy to be a media target? It’s a juicy story, involving politicians – right up mainstream-media’s alley. IMO, she’s a naïve, young kid who had stars in her eyes, who’s allegedly been taken advantage of by a horny, probably intoxicated older male.

  10. Wasn’t this originally not a complaint, now is a complaint and is the subject of a police investigation? Why this has anything to do with the Parliament I do not know. Isn’t this a job for the police and if not them the civil lawyers?

    • RobotSenseiMEMBER

      I don’t think it’s about whether the incident happened or not.
      It’s about the culture to shift a staffer who has been assaulted off to a different state and political office under the implied threat of “go along with what we say and keep your mouth shut or we will end you.”

      • Rape carries 25 years in Victoria, Being an accessory is a a serious crime. It is beyond “culture.” The complainant isn’t the only person with rights here.

    • This has gone beyond the actual incident. It’s about who knew what and when and the lies and cover-ups that have occurred since.

      Just like Watergate – Nixon had nothing to do with the break-in of DNC HQ, but when he found out he approved the cover-up.

      In this instance – Scummo has nothing to do with the crime, but has denied he knew about it until last week. Evidence now contradicts that.

    • Because it happened in Linda Reynolds’s office, and she ordered it to be steam cleaned to remove all evidence. She also refused to supply the CCTV footage.

      Judging from some of the details coming out, Higgin was most likely drugged, thus the reference to the security guard calling an ambulance.

  11. She’s all class that girl. She should now step away, and let the process unfold, with obvious criminal investigation. No more giving the grubs in media more drama. ATM, she’s extremely employable, and would be proud to look back on what she’s done. Go trashy with more MSM drama and that’ll change.

    Morrison has to go, so should Reynolds and so do a number of support staff.

    Australia should expect nothing less.

    • I’m trying to determine whether renewing my sub is worth it to effectively have commenters find the good stuff on Twitter (which I don’t go on) for me. Thanks MiBo.

      Things are getting dicey now. He is going to get to the point where they will go after her I think…they’ll risk it.

      It feels like more and more people are starting to see his BS, but it is Twitter so I’d have to ask some blokes at the Federal Hotel Alstonville for some vox pop.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        It came up at work this morning but only two or three others joined in. Everyone involved though was filthy on the government for covering up and even more filthy on them for attacking the girl and her partner.

        The usual political suspects refuse to say a word about it. Maybe because of the anger you could feel coming from the group.

        All the anger was from blokes mid-40s to mid-50s, and nothing from the women and we’re close to a 50-50 split. Can’t work that one out.

  12. “If she had a complaint she should have gone to the police
    But she didn’t , which speaks volumes”

    Err – no. She did. It even says she did in this presentation of material by DLS.

    • kierans777MEMBER

      Yep. ScoMo should have gone after Sports Rorts (colour coded spreadsheets), Robo Debt (2000 dead) or not properly investigating the misconduct of Ministers – #shadysukkar, #tawdrytudge et al. I noticed the sham inquiry into Sukkar didn’t make the Chaser’s list.

      Another scandal (crime?) that will get buried and be forgotten at the polls.

    • I thought people were presumed innocent in this country before being found guilty by a jury of their peers. ” Believe the victim” cuts across this. You don’t even know without the trial that she is a victim.

      • What is it with RWNJ’s and their belief that a person has to be “found guilty” of a criminal offence before they will even entertain the idea that something wrong happened? And even then, if it’s one of their own, it’s a “miscarriage of justice.”

        • Because if everyone is presumed guilty merely on an accusation that is not tested you have a police state. LWNJ
          If you don’t want to go down that path you can always sue civilly or wait to be sued.

        • Unfortunately smithy those are the people I have been dealing with for 40 years. In my room I have 3 rapes at the moment. It annoys me when people play politics with what is for the individuals involved way beyond politics. I heard about it for the first time yesterday on parliamentary radio. Usually I take no notice of the newspapers, or reports of sexual abuse as I deal with it often.

      • FUDINTHENUDMEMBER

        I hope for due process in this. But the amount of dodgy sh1te the lib party and hangers on have been up to OPENLY I’m sure a bit of actual [email protected] wouldn’t bother em overly. Where there’s smoke, there’s a raging out of control bushfire, in this case.

  13. If ScoMo really expected to be told about the rape then the advisors and ministers around him did not live up to expectations and he should fire them. More likely, ScoMo created a culture where those around him know they are expected to ‘keep their mouth shut’ if they want to keep their job. Either way, ScoMo should go.

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