Scott Morrison’s reaction to the Kate Jenkins’ review was to make it very clear that it wasn’t just his side that behaved deplorably towards women. Whilst no doubt true, it’s a pitiful comeback which invites a response.
Remember in 2011 when Tony Abbott attended an anti-carbon tax rally where he spoke in front of placards that read “JuLIAR, Bob Brown’s Bitch” and “Ditch the witch”? After a speech that was punctuated by chants of “ditch the bitch” and “liar, liar”, Abbott said the crowd was “a representative snapshot of middle Australia”. He said people are “more than entitled” to protest against a Government and a Prime Minister “which has not been straight with them… let’s not get too precious about these things”.
That’s the same man who, as Employment and Workplace Relations Minister, told an Industrial relations conference that bad bosses, like bad fathers and husbands, should be tolerated because they generally do more good than harm. The same man who, when asked to describe the attributes of a female candidate, said she had sex appeal.
Remember the 2013 Mal Brough fundraiser, attended by Joe Hockey? The menu featured a dish called “Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail – Small Breasts, Huge Thighs & A Big Red Box.” That didn’t stop him from contesting and winning his seat – he only stood down when a police investigation into the James Ashby imbroglio was launched.
Around the same time, a public servant accused Minister for Cities and the Built Environment, Jamie Briggs, of inappropriate behaviour on a boozy late night out in Hong Kong. Brigg’s response was to send “a few people” a photo of the complainant which was then published prominently in weekend newspapers as well as private text messages sent by her, her age and job title.
This did not cost Briggs his preselection for the 2016 election. The voters of Mayo had to turf him out.
Peter Dutton’s response to an article criticising Briggs was to send a supportive text to him calling the female journalist a “mad fucking witch” – except in another glaring example of Dutton incompetency, he sent it to the “mad fuckling witch” by mistake.
Dutton has form with this sort of puerile sexist behaviour. In 2010, he defended telling then health minister, Nicola Roxon, to get on her broomstick.
telling nicola to get on her broomstick is hardly "grossly unparliamentary" as joolia claimed
— Peter Dutton (@PeterDutton_MP) February 11, 2010
When it was revealed that that champion for the sanctity of marriage, that dedicated dad that just wanted his daughters to marry a bloke (not sheila), our on again off again Deputy Dawg, the Beetrooter aka the red octopus, had allegedly impregnated a staffer with whom he had been having an ongoing affair, his response was to question the child’s paternity.
Barnaby told Fairfax Media, as you do, that he had “no choice” but to tell the story about the question mark that hung over whether he is the biological father because, around the time the baby was conceived, he had been on an overseas work trip with his wife Natalie followed by a period as acting prime minister during which he was apparently “accompanied by close personal protection bodyguards”.
I cannot type what I would have said to Joyce had I been either of the women he so cruelly and cavalierly disrespected with this completely self-centred abomination, but I did enjoy reading that Natalie threw all his clothes outside and ran over them with the ride-on mower.
This situation led to the extraordinary bonk ban where the PM felt it necessary to make it a rule that MPs stop rooting their staff.
Still Barnaby hung on until details of a confidential sexual harassment complaint against him by a prominent Nationals woman were, once again, leaked to the press without her consent.
Andrew Broad was the first Nationals MP to break ranks and condemn Joyce for his affair with a staffer, only to have to humiliatingly step down after it was revealed he, once again on a work trip to Hong Kong, went out with a woman he had met on a “sugar babies” website where wealthy older men meet women and provide them with gifts in exchange for company.
The WhatsApp messages were excruciating.
“I pull you close, run my strong hands down your back, softly kiss your neck and whisper G’day mate.”
“I’m a country guy, so I know how to fly a plane, ride a horse, fuck my woman. My intentions are completely dishonourable.”
Broad said he could have survived another campaign, despite the scandal, buffeted by the 21% margin in his Victorian seat of Mallee, but he didn’t want to become a “half laughing-stock” figure like Barnaby Joyce.
That most religious of men, George Christensen’s preferred destination was the girly bars in Angeles City near Manila. So much so that he became a potential threat to national security.
When Four Corners aired an episode titled “Inside the Canberra Bubble”, detailing allegations of inappropriate conduct and extramarital affairs by Attorney-General Christian Porter and Population Minister Alan Tudge with female ministerial staffers, Communications Minister Paul Fletcher was quick to express his outrage to Ita Buttrose.
“Why, in the judgement of the Board, are the personal lives of politicians newsworthy?” spluttered Fletcher as he publicly tweeted the letter he sent trying to intimdate the ABC Chair. After all, this was before Malcolm told them that having sex with their staff was a no-no.
Four Corners executive producer Sally Neighbour tweeted ahead of the episode’s airing that the “political pressure applied to the ABC behind the scenes over this story has been extreme and unrelenting”.
The staffer who had an affair with Tudge has recently claimed it was an emotionally, and on one occasion physically, abusive relationship – a claim Tudge denied as he stood aside whilst the complaint is investigated.
Also emerging in recent days, claims by Natalie Baini, the former Liberal who will run as an independent in the Sydney seat of Reid, that her political ambitions were thwarted after she complained about Craig Laundy allegedly lying to her about his marital status before she entered into a consensual relationship with him.
The bullying and intimidation of Liberal women during the leadership spill in 2018 was well documented yet no-one seemed to bear any consequences for it.
Linda Reynolds said in the Senate, before her silence was bought with a promotion, “In fact, some of the behaviour is behaviour I simply do not recognise and I think has no place in my party or this chamber. I cannot condone and I cannot support what has happened to some of my colleagues on this side, in this chamber, in this place”.
When women across the nation joined together in an outpouring of grief and anger to demand change, Scott Morrison refused to come out and face the March 4 Justice crowds, instead saying from the floor of parliament that it was a triumph of democracy that protesters were not “met with bullets”.
This is not the time to point at someone else saying they do it too. It shouldn’t be necessary to form another committee to work out what to do either. It’s easy.
Just stop it!
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