Yesterday we were subjected to a disgusting abuse of parliamentary privilege by a man who feels his actions should be beyond scrutiny.
Peter Dutton, outraged at what he calls a “personal smear campaign” against him, stood up in parliament and had what could only be described as a hissy fit, launching a cowardly and very personal attack on witnesses providing evidence to a Senate committee.
He also carried with him, every time he stood up, two large folders very obviously labelled with the names Chris Bowen and Tony Burke – the implication being ‘come for me and I will go for you’.
Asked to explain the rationale behind granting some people visas whilst rejecting others, his role in securing jobs for mates, and a possible conflict of interest regarding his businesses, he went into head-kicking mode.
All of the questions asked of Mr Dutton related to his actions as a Minister and his eligibility to sit in parliament. None of those are personal smears. They are legitimate questions.
Unfortunately, our Minister for Home Affairs does not think he should be held accountable and views any questioning as a personal affront. If he has done nothing untoward, why is he so angry? Why does he feel the need to impugn others?
Then, despite allegations of intimidation from several Liberal MPs during the leadership spill, all of a sudden, we are told it never happened. No-one was bullied. No complaints have been made. Move on.
Considering how the Coalition mercilessly pursued Emma Husar over bullying allegations, their insistence that eligibility issues of Labor MPs be tested in the High Court, and their hounding of Sam Dastyari re his connection to donors, it is apparent that the government believes they should operate under different rules to everyone else.
Bullying, workplace harassment, cronyism, misuse of office, conflicts of interest, will all be swept under the carpet. No need for a federal corruption watchdog, Cormann assures us.
But if you cover up a cancer with make-up, it will continue to eat away at the body of the party. Until people are held to account for their actions, the abuse will continue. Until they are made to realise that they are answerable to us, not just to faceless backroom men or radio shock jocks, they will continue to lie, obfuscate, and use their position for the benefit of their mates.
These gutless wonders, and I include the women who are now apparently too afraid to tell the truth about the intimidation they were subjected to, are treating us with contempt. While they refuse to be held accountable, they are not fit to govern.