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Morrison’s apology derails rape trial

Yet again many of us are asking ourselves, is Prime Minister Scott Morrison thoroughly ill-intentioned, or merely driven by blindly arrogant stupidity and incompetence?

That we are forced to ask this question almost daily is in itself a serious indictment of the man, regardless of the answer.

Of course, he could quite easily be both.

Many of us who heard Morrison’s apology to Brittany Higgins in Parliament earlier this week were alarmed when he named the alleged victim of an alleged rape which is due to go to trial in June.

The PM’s apology has been described by a leading defence barrister as without foundation, as the allegations have not yet been tested. There is now considerable doubt that, as a consequence of Morrison’s apology, a jury can be struck in the ACT where the trial is due to be held.

Scott Morrison has interfered with the progress of a criminal trial while ostensibly apologising to the alleged victim who is seeking justice through that legal process. He has imperilled Ms Higgins one chance to seek justice, under the guise of publicly declaring his regret for her situation. And he has done it all under parliamentary privilege. Incompetence?

In the ACT the charge cannot be heard in a judge-alone trial, but must be heard before a jury. The accused’s lawyers are now seeking a stay on the criminal proceedings, on the grounds that Morrison has prejudiced their client’s case. If they are successful the trial could be delayed, or aborted indefinitely.

An arrogant, stupid and unfortunate mistake made by an incompetent politician?

Or a calculated, self-interested outcome in the guise of a message of concern and regret?

That Morrison was unaware of the possible consequences of naming Ms Higgins in his speech is not a credible explanation. He has frequently, in parliament, declined to comment on certain situations because they are before the courts, so we know he is conscious of the sub judice prohibition and to suggest otherwise is ludicrous. It’s also barely credible that those involved in the preparation of the speech were unaware of its potential to derail the trial.

Nobody knows what the trial might reveal. What we do know is that none of it will be good for Morrison. His stated knowledge of the alleged rape of Ms Higgins remains contested. Accusations of a cover-up by senior advisors and government ministers remain alive. The recent revelation of Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s text to Ms Higgins in which he describes Scott as a liar and a hypocrite, again brings into question the veracity of the PM’s account of when he was told of the alleged rape.

There are many reasons to argue that the sabotaging of the June trial is advantageous to the Prime Minister, not least because it will bring his questionable role in the events back into public focus, whether they are relevant to the trial or not.

It’s time to stop explaining Morrison’s actions as merely “incompetent.” The “incompetence” excuse serves only to conceal the depth of his self-interest, and the lengths to which he will go to protect himself and further his own concerns. He is a thoroughly ill-intentioned man with enormous power, who will do anything he needs to do to retain that power.

“Incompetent” comes nowhere near describing the dark heart of this man, indeed, that descriptor only works to soften and humanise his psychopathy. He is at heart dangerously ill-intentioned. He may well be incompetent with it, but to underestimate his potential for destruction by dismissing it as incompetence is foolish.

His efforts to sabotage this rape trial should alarm all women, and the men who are our allies. We are nothing to this man. His contempt for us is so boundless that he will even use an apology to derail the possibility of justice, because it’s in his interests to do so.

It’s transactional, stupid.

 

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16 comments

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  1. Ross William Cornwill

    What will this man stop at? I thought the linking of China to Albo was the worst however this one stinks to high heaven.

    Can the trial be held somewhere else at some other time?

  2. craig robson

    Scott Morrison is surely “The Manchurian Candidate” for the Murdochs, and fellow neoliberal far right travellers,
    A simple look at his original pre-selection throws up all sorts of questions, his skating thru Turnbull and Dutton
    All the jobs he left under a variety of clouds.
    He’s rotten to the very core

  3. paul walter

    Amazing piece of writing.

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………

    Ross, justice delayed is justice denied. Morrison has never, ever, thought twice in harming others in pursuit of usually ignoble goals.

    His Office is a collective monstrosity and the Murdoch ethos is cold, calculating, remorseless and evil…

  4. pierre wilkinson

    Incompetence is his catch cry, rewarded with promotion, as are mendacity, corruption and self interest, only mitigated by one’s commitment to his personal relationship with his god
    oh how we need a federal ICAC and an honest assiduous media

  5. Terence Mills

    This has been troubling me too.

    It will be very hard to assemble an impartial jury who have not already been contaminated by the prime minister’s apology to Brittany Higgins and all of the media coverage :

    “I am sorry to Ms Higgins for the terrible things that took place here. The place that should have been a place for safety, that turned out to be a nightmare.

    I don’t know what happened in the minister’s office that night, none of us know. We do know that the security personnel who went to check after the young man had left, found her in a state of undress and asleep. They didn’t seek to comfort her or enquire into what had happened or call the police or an ambulance : they left he to “sleep it off “.

    Remember, the prosecution must now prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an offence occurred be it an assault or rape. Everybody needs clear air and Morrison has not helped by implying that something ‘terrible’ took place – that is for the court and the jury to determine.

  6. Kaye Lee

    Reports have now emerged that Morrison originally planned to leave the apology to the presiding officers – the Speaker Andrew Wallace – until a last-minute change of plans.

    The Saturday Paper has reported today that the government-appointed chair of the independent taskforce Kerri Hartland had originally proposed that neither Mr Morrison or Mr Albanese speak but the Labor leader had insisted on doing so prompting the Prime Minister to also speak.

    https://www.news.com.au/national/politics/pm-apology-could-see-brittany-higgins-accused-bruce-lehrmanns-trial-delayed/news-story/e59bc7389fdfc24cd2dc3903c4c8cae7

  7. Kathryn

    There can be absolutely NO DOUBT that absolutely EVERYTHING the pathological liar and political sociopath, Morrison, does or says stems from a diabolical, totally ruthless and almost psychopathic ambition to attain and maintain his bloodstained grip on autocratic, even undemocratic, power! Morrison’s stratospheric ego, immense sense of self-serving entitlement and belief that he, and he alone, has a God-given right to rule over us like some despotic feudal Overlord, shows a condescending contempt for Australians that is beyond depraved. Add to this, Morrison’s unsound allegiance to the dangerous, misogynistic, paedophile-supporting CULT of Hillsong, makes the bone-idle Sloth Morrison about as toxic as a uranium enema!

    There is nothing – absolutely NOTHING – one can find to say that is good about the justifiably unpopular Scott Morrison! The FACT is that Morrison’s complete lack of integrity, zero credibility, his non-existent insight, his callous indifference to the suffering of others, his staggering deviousness, his absolute inability to lead, the mounting evidence that Morrison is a recidivist pathological liar totally incapable of telling the truth even about the most minor incidences, his deep-seated inhumanity and his appalling level of self-serving corruption – all hidden under a fake veneer of bible-thumping hypocrisy – is thoroughly nauseating and a very worrying indication that we have a dangerously fascist, totally reckless, unconscionable, megalomaniacal narcissist at the helm of our nation right now! Not a day goes passed when we are not confronted with yet ANOTHER lie, ANOTHER act of malevolence, yet ANOTHER scandal about the absolute worst, most corrupt, degenerate and fascist regime in our history! Yet, in spite of all the chaos, the total dysfunction, the character-assassinating lies about the ALP (a political party that has NOT been in power for nearly 8 years), Morrison just goes on and on and on (ad nauseum) blaming all the chaos, dysfunction, poor decisions and catastrophic ineptitude (of HIS doing) on anyone and everyone EXCEPT the egotistical, incompetent sociopath that stares back at him every morning in the mirror!

    FFS, KICK THE DEPRAVED MORRISON AND THE TOTALLY CORRUPT LNP TO THE GUTTER AT THE NEXT FEDERAL ELECTION BECAUSE THAT IS WHERE THEY REALLY BELONG!!

  8. Jack Cade

    This article is excellent and disturbing. The question posed in the opening paragraph, and the suggestion that the two options suggested by the question may each be right, omits one other question; a question to which I find the answer to be a clear YES. That question is, was there collusion in the cabinet – at the very least – for Morrison to deliberately try to ensure that there could be no trial in the ACT because no impartial jury could be selected? I believe there WAS collusion, at the core of the Morrison government, maybe even within the entire party room.
    I believe that the LNP government is not merely incompetent, it is corrupt, mendacious and – in this case at least – deliberately and wilfully attempting to pervert the judicial system.

  9. Stephengb

    If you think about it, a person who is stupid cannot get to be the most powerfull man in the country, therefore the fact that this man is also a bully boy, a narcissist, a pathological liar and the Prime Minister of Australia means he certainly Is NOT stupid. In other words this is all calculated behaviour to achieve his Ideological intent.

  10. leefe

    It has to have been deliberate. But exactly what does ScoMoFo get out of it? He’s not going to do anything to help the perpetrator – sorry, alleged perpetrator – unless there’s a quid pro quo.

  11. Pete Petrass

    Stop and consider how well Brittany’s (alleged) rapist was looked after by Morriscum’s minions. Immediate cleansing of the ‘crime scene’, everything hushed up, he received all his pay and benefits after allegedly being sacked, he was given a job reference, he was given assistance in finding a new job, he got a better job, he has since been allowed back into parliament house on occasion…….he has been looked after. Brittany was not looked after. She was shuffled off to Perth to work for the screeching cockatoo, she was called a lying cow by a Minister, she was forced out of her job with zero support for future employment, her partner was blacklisted by the LNP, she has been insulted by mealy-mouthed vibble vobble from the LNP, investigations have been (intentionally) stagnated. Morriscum’s aim is to shut her down, shut her up and move on as if this never happened. After all it is the men who rule.

  12. Regional Elder

    This incisive comment sums up Morrison’s and his machiavellian manner, precisely. <code

    “ Incompetent” comes nowhere near describing the dark heart of this man, indeed, that descriptor only works to soften and humanise his psychopathy. He is at heart dangerously ill-intentioned. He may well be incompetent with it, but to underestimate his potential for destruction by dismissing it as incompetence is foolish.”

    A clear sighted and disturbing portrait of the present Prime Minister.

    Thank you Jennifer

  13. Topenda

    Well, if we have to debase ourselves to the point of (gag) apologising in order to not let Labor look better than us, then we should make the most of the opportunity stop a mere female derailing a promising young man’s future, shouldnt we? The fact it just retraumatises the impertinent woman is a just an added perk, wouldn’t you say?

    —end sarcasm—

    Scuse me while I go throw up and then look up the numbers of some people in low places… 🙁

  14. wam

    What a great description of a charlatan and a fraud in a government with those qualities in abundance
    Certainly, scummo, has aimed at recovering some of the women’s votes lost by his indifference but he has no need to be worried.
    On my facebook, a post accusing tame of debasing the charter of the press club by mentioning albo had dozens of replies from men and women all agreeing and adding the women were simply big noting themselves with lies about the PM. With only one referring to the point of the abuse of women(for which I got plenty of personal abuse as a labor stooge)
    “The PM’s apology has been described by a leading defence barrister…”
    is simple lawyer drivel, little more than another ploy in a long history aiming to rid the system of non-lawyers.
    Dr Wilson has written many articles on this topic in the last year without fear of influencing jurors. Perhaps ‘no place for sheep’ has readers above influence???

  15. Ro Bailey

    Well, he was clever enough to get to PM by conniving and trickery, so I guess this is par for the course.

  16. L..S. Roberts

    Does Morrison speak extemporaneously or does he use script writers from his retinue of spin doctors?
    This “sloppy blunder” was in a speech which he had not had long to prepare so perhaps it was off the cuff.
    Did his minders give him legal advice or did his arrogance get the better of him? He just doesn’t get it or was it planned to get ‘a swinging dick’ off the hook.

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