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“It was as clear as mud, and it covered the ground, and the confusion made me brain go round”

Watching Question Time Monday, June 22, I was reminded of the old Harry Belefonte lyrics to the song; “Man Piaba“.

The song tells the story of a boy who is confused about growing up.

And so it was when the Prime Minister of Australia stood before the parliament with its assembled MPs and said:

“I have been very clear with this house.”

It was followed by laughs of mischievous intent from the opposition.

Scott Morrison, true to form, had not shown the slightest bit of clarity at all. It was as clear as mud. A look of defiance descended upon his lie beaten brow.

When Labor asked him to update the House as to the progress of a report he had commissioned by the head of his department, Phil Gaetjens, he looked like a man ready for an unnecessary war.

He is a man much used to lying, but this time he couldn’t seem to drag one from the closet, so he sought out the cousin to the lie, confusion.

In the muck-ridden conservative party formerly called the Liberal Party, there were once people of integrity. Or people who would let scandal pass through the sewer of their internal problems but always stop before it got beyond their conscience. Only a few remain.

Before I go on, I must tell you that my wife interrupted my writing to say that Morrison was on the television. It was last Tuesday at about 10am. A press conference of importance was taking place. Because of our natures, my wife and I are suckers for tears of sad moments, regrets, or mistakes well worn.

Morrison was pouring it on, and the tears were welling in our eyes. When it became apparent that he was answering the criticism of his handling of the accusations of rape over the past month and that this press conference was actually more about him than the scandals themselves, we quietly put the tissues aside.

He was so used to confusing people every time he gave a press conference that he breezed through most of the questions. Then when confronted with a fair dinkum question from Sky News journalist Andrew Clennell alluding to an employer of theirs “dealing with a person who has made a complaint made against them for harassment of a woman in a women’s toilet”, the dog was out of the kennel. The attack dog was back.

The following day the media was full of apologies from the Prime Minister with regrets that he had even raised the matter. The presser was really about two sides of the Prime Minister’s personality. The front end was just sanctimonious bullshit about how he was listening; he heard all the problems women have living in a society that treated them so pathetically.

The problem was that he gave so much time to listen that there was little left over to pursue answers. He had none.

The back end saw the return of the Morrison we know so well. The know-all, the snake oil salesman untrustworthy liar, prepared to do or say anything that would progress his cause.

Later in the day, on Facebook, he apologised.

Sorry, I just had to fit that digression in. Now back to Question Time and some background. Morrison had asked the Secretary of the Prime Minister’s department, Phil Gaetjens, to undertake an inquiry – to check if any communications between members of his office and the former government staffer Brittany Higgins existed. That was February 17.

Remember the date because a short time after Higgins had come forward with her allegation that she had been raped in Parliament House by a colleague on February 19, varying views had emerged as to who knew what and when.

Now let’s move on. On February 12, Morrison has identified Fiona Brown as the one who had first heard of the allegation. This is after news.com.au submitted a series of questions to the office about the events of March 2019.

This statement was incorrect and can be proven so. Fiona Brown, a member of Morrison’s staff, was all over it. Why? Well, “she managed the fallout while employed as chief of staff to Linda Reynolds.”

She was also employed by Morrison before she worked for Reynolds. Then she returned to the prime minister’s office after the 2019 election.

Clear as mud, isn’t it?

It seems evident that Brown (now a Morrison Staffer) knew what had happened, which also suggests that others could have learned about it in the manner of human gossip.

It was revealed by Guardian Australia that:

“… another senior Morrison staffer had been in the office of the special minister of state at the time the man alleged to have raped Higgins left the government.”

Brittany Higgins also remembered an approach via WhatsApp from Yaron Finkelstein, one of Morrison’s senior political advisers. A “how is it all going call?”

It was about the Four Corners program exploring workplace culture at parliament that had aired in 2020.

With all the goings-on:

“Morrison asked Gaetjens to get to the bottom of what had gone on. But then the investigation seemed to fall into a black hole.”

With their ears, pricked Labor began to ask questions.

One month bled into the next. Morrison gave no indication of when the report would be tabled. No information was forthcoming at all. Morrison had not given any indication that it had been “paused”.

Following on from that, The Guardian reported that:

“Gaetjens told Senate estimates on Monday he had “paused” his investigation after advice from the Australian federal police commissioner Reece Kershaw on March 9. Kershaw wanted a “clean corridor” for a criminal investigation into the rape allegation.

Disconcertingly, the deliberation accounts in early March between Gaetjens and Kershaw (who was in another estimates committee on Monday morning) didn’t align entirely on the first telling. But Kershaw later issued a clarifying statement confirming that pausing the inquiry had been his “strong” advice to Gaetjens.

Gaetjens duly paused his efforts, and says he conveyed the decision to hold off to the prime minister’s office and to Morrison himself shortly after.”

So this is where we are at now?

After many questions to the Prime Minister regarding Gaetjens investigation, the prime minister (according to Gaetjens in Estimates) was fully aware the inquiry was on hold.

But instead of being transparent, instead of just telling it like it was, Morrison continued to deceive.

In response to Labor’s questions, Morrison said Gaetjens:

“… has not provided me with a further update about when I might expect that report.”

It is a mystery why Morrison would risk being accused of misleading the Parliament when Gaetjens had already given him an update about the timeline for reporting.

“Gaetjens had told him, implicitly, that he wouldn’t be reporting soon because Kershaw needed “a clean corridor” for the criminal investigation.”

Gaetjens is undoubtedly the most influential public servant in Canberra, and as such, it is unusual for him to appear before Senate hearings.

When one compares the evidence of Gaetjens before Senate Estimates and the statements Morrison has made in the House, one can reasonably, I think, conclude that Morrison was misleading the House.

By playing this silly game of one-upmanship, all the Prime Minister achieved was to make himself look mischievous.

Katherine Murphy writing in The Guardian, got it right when she wrote that all he had to say was:

“I am aware there has been a development, but I can’t convey it to the house in detail for probity reasons, but Gaetjens will advise you about that either through his own channels or at Senate estimates next week, as is proper.”

Was he just being a smart arse?

He must have known that at some point in time that he would have to reconcile the contradictions between what he was saying in the house and what Gaetjens was telling the Senate Estimates.

The wash-up now is that he has made himself look guilty and his party seem amateurish. Whether he likes it or not, Prime Ministers are elected to lead, not tell lies or avoid answering questions. If I were him, trying to swim my way out of the shit he has created for himself, I would want to appear as clean as a surgeon’s hands.

Did he mislead the house? Well, it certainly looks that way.

My thought for the day

Do you shape the truth for the sake of a good impression? On the other hand, do you tell the truth even if it may tear down the view people may have of you? Alternatively, do you simply use the contrivance of omission and create another lie. I can only conclude that there is always a pain in truth, but there is no harm in it.

In breaking news, Brittany Higgins has formally lodged a complaint with the Prime Minister’s Department regarding backgrounding on her partner David Shiraz and family members.

The Prime Minister said he couldn’t comment because nobody had made an official complaint.

Now he has one.

A final word

I may be guilty of oversimplification here, but why on earth should there be a need for legislation that outlines rules and regulations pertaining to men’s behaviour when all that is required of them is that they demonstrate some excellent old-fashioned manliness.

 

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43 comments

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  1. Williambtm

    During my life when confronted with a dilemma of my own creation that the best way out of that dilemma was to lead with the truth. As I had imparted on my elder son a few years earlier, it is easier to deal with the truth than it is to deal with a lie. The truth as ugly as it may be is far more reconcilable than a bucket of lies.

  2. John Lord

    Williambtm. So very true. As a Christian and “Truth” being a central tenant to the faith you would think he might understand the concept.

  3. Henry Rodrigues

    Mr. Lord,

    Great analysis, although it doesn’t take much insight and examination to discover how venal a liar this character is. In fact, It would not be stretching it to say he has no character at all.

    He always refers to his mum as a someone whom he loves very deeply. Except for the fact, that all mums teach and instill, in their children, the importance of always telling the truth. Apparently that message wasn’t delivered or wasn’t received.

    As for him looking guilty or foolish, either or both apply. He is a boorish, shallow, disgusting creature And he has somehow managed to corrupt the entire public service and the Law enforcement agencies to behave as badly as him..

    The wonder is that a number people still approve of him, apart from Murdoch and Ch 7 and Costello who still love him to bits.

  4. Harry Lime

    What we do know of his previous stints(truncated) in tourism, and his history and modus operandi in politics,paints a very clear picture of a devious, dishonest,self aggrandising pathological liar .The gap between his actual ability and his self perceived brilliance is a yawning chasm.Which begs the question:Is he suffering from a clinical personality disorder? Some might suggest that he is merely an arrogant, lying arsehole with an inferiority complex.Whatever explanation,the karma bus is aimed squarely at his toad- like head.

  5. leefe

    “Clear as mud”.

    Sorry, but no. The average SW Tasmanian bog is glass compared to ScoMoFo. I’ve climbed over rocks that are clearer.

  6. Williambtm

    Hello, leefe; I like your analogy to the transparency of a Tasmanian bog; however, as for the bog itself and its cumbersome petrological overlay, I feel the analogy is best intended uttered regarding Tasmania’s Justice System.

    I had just penetrated through the wordage held in the transcript of TT-Line Company Pty Ltd Vs. Burrows; this matter concerned the death of several horses on arrival per TT-line back onto Tasmania’s shores.

    In this other usage, the word ‘wading’ is more consistent with trying to negotiate a passage or pathway through Tasmania’s Western region renowned for its horizontal tree species. Unbeknown to many that it is a hardwood species… that, when fully seasoned, takes on the properties of Central and Northern Australia’s Gidgee, 3rd hardest wood in Australia.

    Horizontal Scrub (Anodopetulum Biglandulosum) is a slow-growing tree endemic to the west of Tasmania. A member of the ancient Gondwanan plant family Cunoniaceae, the plant gets its name from the curious way, forming virtually impenetrable thickets.

  7. Kerri

    Maybe we need to change the conversation to people being violent and nasty to other people?
    Surely a “bloke” could understand not hurting another person or forcing themselves upon another person or exposing private matters of another person without their permission?
    It might put a full stop to all those sad me too blokes who keep claiming that blokes get raped as often as women too?
    As for the attack dog being out again, I truly wish the media would push that button more often to let all the gullible halfwits with short memories who think Morrison is “the preferred PM” that the attack dog is the real PM and Scottyfrommarketing is merely a character badly acted.

  8. Gangstas Paradise

    I’m wondering if its a first for any Australian PM to be apologising to the Murdoch’s/News Corp.

    And I’m also hoping I survive this metastases prostrate cancer long enough to see a Labor Federal govt and the failure of The Guardian in Australia.

    Why the second part of that bucket list …… just take a gander at how GA has dumped Commenting on most Articles since GA put their feet under the table the Murdoch’s use to extort money from Google & Facebook.

  9. Kaye Lee

    GP,

    The Guardian stopped comments because some of them could have been deemed defamatory and it was a huge job to moderate them all. As far as I am aware, it was a temporary measure prompted by the Christian Porter case.

    We sometimes close comments on articles here too when the convo is heading in a bad direction.

  10. Henry Rodrigues

    Gangsta, .sorry to hear about the cancer, hope you get through it and enjoy many more years of kicking Scummo where it hurts. Good luck.

  11. Terence Mills

    The Conversation also curtails comments on controversial matters and this week didn’t allow any comments on an article dealing with consent.

    Personally I feel that The Conversation is too heavily moderated to the point where it becomes a one sided conversation. AIMN seems to have the balance about right but with defamation laws in this country loaded in favour of the plaintiff you have to be careful what is published.

    The lawyers are saying that if even one person was able to draw an inference that Porter was the unnamed alleged rapist from the ABC item, that would be sufficient for him to claim defamation even though his name was never mentioned by the ABC.

  12. paul walter

    Exactly Terence.. goes to the real core of what this has been only the latest example of and underlying objective…brutal suppression of truth and of accountability.

    We speak of total psychosis and unredeemable false consciousness- lunacy- here.

  13. paul walter

  14. jamie

    gee whiz kay lee

    da fraudian

    intellectual disgrace stares from every face at the smash Julian Assange fraudian disinfo gates hack dullard factory

    giv us a break from the murfee liebral protection racket gobbledeegook!!

    rulin class billionaire pharmacom fear mongerin is rampant and exponential!!!!

    “What can you do, thought Winston, against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself; who gives your arguments a fair hearing and simply persists in his lunacy?”

    PS: screenshot

  15. Kaye Lee

    Huh?

  16. Michael Taylor

    “Screenshot”.

    That sounds like a threat. We don’t take too kindly to threats.

  17. David Stakes

    Abbott could tell whoppers, but Morrison has him in spades.

  18. Kaye Lee

    One usually screen shots things they think important or that they think may disappear.

    And jamie, I don’t even run a protection racket for my kids. From birth, they have known where I stand. People make mistakes. Tell me the truth and I can help you move forward. Lie to me and you are on your own. When you make a mistake, fess up, apologise, try to fix it if you can, but most of all learn from it.

    I may have misunderstood what you were implying.

  19. Gangstas Paradise

    Kay Lee

    I understand the situation with Porter and his Court case with your ABC but if you look at GA across the board Comments on Articles that have nothing to do with politics have no Comments section.

    Just take a look at the Articles that one can Comment on today (or pick any day since GA joined the Murdoch’s) …. some English, some American and the fact of the matter is that an Aussie gets to Comment more on overseas Articles then they do on Australian Articles.

    Why call it “Guardian Australia” if Australians are 2nd rate when it comes to Commenting ?

  20. Kaye Lee

    David,

    I had that conversation with my husband last night. I said Morrison is worse than Abbott and he was dumbstruck because we both knew Tony at uni and he knows I have zero regard for him. But Tony is uncomplicated.

    Morrison has shut down any semblance of transparency and accountability. If he is threatened he immediately strikes back – dob on us and see what happens. Secret trials, whistleblowers persecuted and prosecuted, public servants sacked, tame consultants paid billions, contracts without tender to Liberal Party affiliates, grants used as slush funds for porkbarreling – the list is endless. But RestingSmirkFace won the miracle election – it’s God’s will.

  21. jamie

    well gp this is a ‘democratic’ corporate penal colony

    now fall in and bend over in obedience prole

    “We are the dead. Our only true life is in the future. We shall take part in it as handfuls of dust and splinters of bone. But how far away that future may be, there is no knowing. It might be a thousand years. At present nothing is possible except to extend the area of sanity little by little. We cannot act collectively. We can only spread our knowledge outwards from individual to individual, generation after generation. In the face of the Thought Police there is no other way.”

    by the way:

    screen shots are merely validation get over it . . . .

  22. Kaye Lee

    Fair enough GP. I never comment there so wouldn’t know. Just passing on their reason.

    I like discussing politics here.

    jamie,

    Validation of what?

  23. Michael Taylor

    “Get over it”.

    Snide remark. Not appreciated.

    I apologise if I can’t understand gobbledygook.

  24. paul walter

    Even IA is censoring me.

    Refer my above post from the Grauniad re Higgins and Morrison

  25. Jack Cade

    The man had to be schooled in ’empathy’, and quite simply did not and does not understand what it is. His tears the other day were pathos, for himself, not others, because it’s finally dawned on him that while we all knew he’s a shallow twat, it has finally got through to the Murdoch newspapers.
    When your owner’s mouthpieces have turned on you, there is no ‘on water’ escape hatch.
    If this country had a modicum of residual self-respect, this government with no moral centre would not have been elected in the first place, and would now be hounded out of office.
    But it won’t.
    Because we don’t.

  26. Kronomex

    Jamie,

    Using quotes from 1984 does not not validate the warped garbage you are inflicting us with.

    “But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”

  27. jamie

    gee whiz crono or is kromo or kornomecks what is ‘garbage’? How is it ‘inflicting’? Don’t u have a choice whether or not to be ‘inflicted’?

    “Everybody knows that pestilences have a way of recurring in the world, yet somehow we find it hard to believe in ones that crash down on our heads from a blue sky. There have been as many plagues as wars in history, yet always plagues and wars take people equally by surprise.”

    how bout this for your validation

  28. Kronomex

    “gee whiz crono or is kromo or kornomecks…”

    Childish, very childish. If you want to go in that direction you are quite welcome to continue proving that you are an idiot.

  29. Kaye Lee

    If that makes you feel validated then good for you jamie. As for MY validation, as Joh would say, don’t you worry about that.

    I am reminded of the Monty Python skit where the guy has paid $10 for an argument. And you are right jamie…..it is my choice whether or not to engage. Choice for disengagement now locked in.

  30. John Lord

    Does this Jamie fellow comment regularly?

  31. Michael Taylor

    Not often, John. I don’t know where he came.

  32. Kronomex

    Jamie’s comments and replies reminds me of someone else who used to comment here who, when he got the shits, would start getting nasty and resort to petty name calling. The incorrect use of grammar and spelling errors is too forced and over the top in an attempt to make us think he’s dumber than he really is.

    Anyway, I’m off to continue watching a 1951 film I discovered by accident called “Pandora and the Flying Dutchman” with Ava Gardner and James Mason.

  33. Phil Pryor

    Jamie, masturbate in privacy, in silence, in blissful ignorance, in fascist fantasising foolishness, in your own cesspit. But, you could educate someone here in nonegotistical sense and manners, but it matters not to most of us if you get anywhere.

  34. jamie

    Gee whiz Phil your protcological distress fixation once again on display. Sheesh! Wow this liddle fake leftie (intellectual disgraces’) sandbox club here don’t like any new kids to muss up their sham ideological straight jackets . . . did they give u a special choco lollee???

    “There comes a time in history when the man who dares to say that two and two do make four is punished with death.”

    PS: Don’t forget your vaseline mate.

  35. Kaye Lee

    Jamie, pet, let me explain.

    We don’t always agree here, but commenters usually actually contribute something interesting.

    Waiting……

    Those who just come to kick sand in people’s faces might like to play in another sandbox. I would hate to have to show you the time out corner where a grownup has to vet your comments first.

  36. Kronomex

    Jamie,

    I don’t think Phil would want to use the Vaseline jar after you’ve what you have been doing with it. Best you consider coating your little troll head with the leftover petroleum jelly and then doing an oozlum bird impression.

  37. Phil Pryor

    Private, Jamie Roger-Rubber. Keep the polishing private…

  38. Canguro

    Given jamie’s (jeez, what kind of person calls themself by the childish diminutive?) endeavour to stir, annoy, agitate and irritate, might I suggest he be either ignored or moderated? His posts could be replaced with something along the line of the Guardian’s response of ‘this post has been removed for failing to meet the standards etc.’

    Reasoned replies won’t cut it. Abusive replies, ditto. Trolls are like arsonists, and take a pathological pleasure in pissing people off. They’re sad creatures. The advice to ‘get a life’ doesn’t work.

  39. Gangstas Paradise

    Is “jamie” a Liberal MP ?

  40. wam

    A great read lord, ‘it was clear as mud but it covered the ground ‘ is absolutely true of the second(behind the lying rodent) worse PM in history who, after a shithouse week still got 52% popularity. Albo must not let the bastards off. The morning shows will chase given ammo and lamming 17 years a prick, must have more, plus tudge, porter and the large swinging dicks??? ps 60 years ago, every friday at uni after badminton finished at 11pm we would squeeze 6 into george’s car(bench seats)go to elizabeth to listen to belafonte and his two carnegie records(about $500 each now) I knew and could croak every word of every song(except miriam makeba’s ‘click song’) Never got home before 0600 with junior hockey at 0900.
    you need the jamies of australia to remind you how ignorant the lnp supporters are and to put the extremists of phon into context?

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