It’s ceaseless and there is no stopping it. Yesterday afternoon continued the ruination of the Liberal Party as Eric Abetz entered the fray. Tasmanian MP Sue Hickey accused him of telling her:
- Not to worry because Christian Porter’s accuser is dead.
- On Brittany Higgins “anybody who is so disgustingly drunk, who would sleep with anybody, could have slept with one of our spies and put the security of our nation at risk”.
- Abetz, who is great-nephew of prominent Nazi, Otto Abetz, denied it all.
Tasmanian Premier, Peter Gutwein, threw his weight behind the accusations of “slut-shaming”. Showing he has learned precisely nothing, Morrison backed Abetz to the hilt.
Before anybody could draw a shocked breath, a few hours later Peta Credlin unloaded another bombshell, declaring gay orgies have transpired in parliament, and that the recently disclosed desk wankers had been previously fired and rehired:
— Jill❌ (@1Swinging_Voter) March 24, 2021
But wait, there’s more. Another Coalition rape has been alleged in the NSW Parliament. This time from a sex worker that wrote to Labor MP Trish Doyle.
Next up, Linda Reynolds was seen wining and dining in Goulburn when she is under instructions to rest at home at Canberra for five weeks, because, you know, she’s sick (as opposed to on a cover-up furlough). Further, it has become clear that there was a separate security breach in the Minister’s office three days prior to the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins so the Government either can’t get its story straight or has outright lied again.
Christian Porter is in hot water as well. Former Queensland Criminal Justice Commission director Mark Le Grand said:
- Porter should not be a party to setting up the Commonwealth Integrity Commission.
- The special protections it affords pollies creates a conflict for Porter.
Then again, last night The Australian was softening everybody up for the dumping of both. They are to be parachuted into other plumb positions in Cabinet where they can resume doing…whatever it is that they do in shadows.
It’s all far too little, too late. PM Morrison had foot-in-mouth again all day, declaring:
“Blokes don’t get it right all the time, we all know that, but what matters is that we’re desperately trying to, and that’s what I’m trying to do, and we will get this right — we all need to focus on that.”
Is Australia a bingo hall? What we need to focus on is a proper process and probity, rule of law and justice, rational policymaking and reform.
As for trying to connect with women, Morrison is a write-off:
Mr Morrison also told parliament that Australian women wanted him to “demonstrate my understanding of the issues that they have raised” and show he was “listening to the great pain that they have been enduring.”
“I’m understanding the pain that so many Australians are feeling.”
So busy telling us he’s listening that he can’t hear a thing.
Crikey was wall-to-wall attack again yesterday. Amber Shultz is spot on:
Diverting blame and playing the victim is a common tactic used by men accused of sexual harassment or assault — and those who choose to defend them.
It’s so common that the pattern of behaviour has an acronym: DARVO, which stands for Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender. The term was coined in 1997 though similar tactics have been reported on for decades.
This tactic became clear during Prime Minister Scott Morrisons’ press conference yesterday to address allegations of sexual violence in Parliament, from a Coalition staffer masturbating onto a female politician’s desk, to Brittany Higgins’ alleged rape, to the allegations of rape against Attorney-General Christian Porter (allegations he strenuously denies).
Bernard Keane too:
It’s now clear Scott Morrison is incapable of ever delivering effective change on the treatment of women within his own party, within parliament or across the country.
He doesn’t understand the issues, and he continues to regard them as a problem of political management. Very likely, he can only understand them as a problem of political management.
By failing to recognise how extraordinarily and intrinsically wrong this all was from the outset, Morrison has brought a revolution to his own door as an increasingly horrified polity rip it from its jambs. Now he can’t even go outside:
— abc730 (@abc730) March 23, 2021
The only way forward here is for Morrison to resign to give a new leader clear air for a full-scale inquiry and purge of the party. But that’s not coming, either, David Speers at the ABC:
The Prime Minister’s leadership is safe, according to his colleagues, and some are more forgiving of his “missteps” than others, but damage has been done and Morrison’s standing internally has been diminished. The view this Prime Minister has some sort of infallible political judgement, having delivered a “miracle” election victory, is well and truly gone.
The link has been drawn between Morrison’s mishandling of the Black Summer bushfires and the past month’s allegations of rape, harassment and sexism. Both required human empathy, an ability to read community sentiment and judgement — important traits for a Prime Minister, which more than a few Liberal MPs believe Morrison has now failed to demonstrate in two separate political crises.
Recent Australian experience would suggest this would normally lead, at the very least, to leadership chatter. Just ask Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott or Malcolm Turnbull.
That’s not happening here and certainly not in the midst of a pandemic. The party remains loyal to Morrison, as does his deputy Josh Frydenberg; the only viable alternative leader.
And so the Liberal Party will drown in its own filth.