The appalling Senator Sarah Henderson was installed by the government to fill a casual vacancy in the Senate after she lost her seat of Corangamite at the 2019 federal election1. Henderson has forwarded an e-mailed allegation that a sitting Labor member of parliament raped a woman. She said “In immediately referring this matter to the AFP, I have followed the procedures set out by Commissioner Kershaw in his letter of 24 February 2021.”2
The procedures to which she refers were written in an astonishing letter sent to the Prime Minister telling him that all suspected criminal activity should be reported to the Australian Federal Police. I say this is astonishing, not because there was anything intrinsically wonderful about the letter itself, but because the AFP Commissioner deemed it necessary to write it. Kershaw also felt he had to warn the government against “choosing to communicate or disseminate allegations via other means, such as through the media or third parties, [because that] risks prejudicing any subsequent police investigation.”2. This also is astonishing.
At the tail end of her media release, Henderson then said “I make this statement in the interests of full transparency.”3 She certainly is transparent, but not in the sense she means. Publicising this rape allegation is simply her way of distracting the media from the current police investigation into the alleged rape by a current cabinet minister. On the surface of it she should have sent this accusation to the police. However, this alleged rape by a sitting Labor member of parliament has been made public before, has been investigated by the Victoria Police, and has been dismissed. As Paul Bongiorno said in reply to Henderson’s tweet to which she attached her press release: “Of course you do. Just a reminder Victoria Police have investigated this woman’s claims and dismissed them. You know this. But putrid politics is always putrid politics.”3
The transparent Henderson is one of the worst of the Coalition members; a malevolent time-server. Everything is about politicking. There are no thoughts about governing the country for the benefit of the populace or making life better for all Australians, not just the wealthy. It is only about doing anything to try to remain in power, to maintain the status quo, so the money keeps flowing to themselves and their donors. They are all beneath contempt.
This is the most vile, disgusting, sickening government I have seen. If they were simply hypocrites then that would be just par for the Liberal course but this mob are truly revolting in a way that I actually find almost hard to believe. I cannot understand how any decent person can remain a member of this party.
I feel the same way. I do not understand how anyone can behave like this. I suspect they are getting desperate because they can see the writing on the wall for ultraconservatives, particularly those of a religious bent.
It seemed obvious from the start that Henderson’s announcement was nothing more than tit-for-tat politics and a disgraceful attempt to deflect attention away from Christian Porter, who has been outed as the accused Minister in the rape claim (1). In calling a press conference (instead of simply passing on the information to police) the shameless Henderson hit a new low for conservative government. She has trivialised a dead woman’s claim of rape and simply made sexual assault and misbehaviour a political football instead of the crime it actually is. Good to see Paul Bongiorno call it for what it is – PUTRID. It will be appropriate should Henderson be made to bear the stench of her own actions.
I wonder if 4Corners already knew about this latest claim when they went public with Porter’s and Tudge’s escapades not long ago (2).
Yep; the Henderson dead cat was apparently in reference to the 2014 accusation of rape against Bill Shorten. Victoria Police investigated and Shorten supposedly cooperated. The Victoria Police stated he had no case to answer. This is presumably why Henderson did not mention any details. It was just a ‘it’s not just us’ on the part of Henderson.
While I don’t believe for a minute that conservative politicians and political operatives are the only ones involved in abuse of their power or that they are more intent on damage control than justice when stories are brought to public attention, we’ve seen in other areas (rorting of travel, dishonesty in the use of taxpayer money etc) that conservatives are particularly adept at deception, faux outrage, and even brazen dishonesty. Like elected Republican Trump supporters, they’re the benchmark for hypocrisy.
After reading those tweets in the link it’s *possible* that Henderson has a NEW allegation against a Labor MP but the fact that she hasn’t clarified (without naming anyone) suggests one of two things: (1) it was the Shorten case; or (2) Henderson is playing games and hoping people will react as Bongiorno did and end up with egg on their faces. In neither of those cases does her behaviour reflect well on her personal integrity. If it’s the latter then that will simply confirm that some politicians have standards well below community expectations and that, overall, the quality of federal politicians has never been worse.
The argument for a federal ICAC has never been more compelling – and not one prevented from investigating past indiscretions and illegalities as proposed by the current unctuous Parliamentary Liberal Party leadership.
Sarah Henderson is one of the worst, and fortunately one of the most ham-fisted politickers in the Liberal Party. Once, she and Linda Reynolds were wheeled out to complain about female Labor members of parliament being used by their party seemingly completely unaware of the concept of irony. https://blotreport.com/2019/01/02/how-murdoch-ruperters-operate-14/
I see Reynolds has admitted calling Higgins a lying cow in front of staff because her version of events was different from Reynolds’. Jellyfish Morrison excused her using the old shift the blame, ‘everyone does it’ etc. excuse: “I’m sure that all of you have found yourself, at a time of frustration, perhaps saying things you regret. Note his exclusion of himself – not all of US, but all of YOU. I guess it’s a small mercy that he didn’t say “as a father of two girls I know we all occasionally say things we regret later”, or perhaps worse still “you know, Jenny told me that people [other than me] sometimes make mistakes and say things they later wish they hadn’t”. Quality people we have leading this country.
Yeah, it’s good to see they gave Brittany Higgins all the help she needed (sarcasm font). They really are scum, aren’t they?
I can’t help thinking that since the “lying cow” remark was a NewsCorp scoop it is likely to have been fed by Scomo. His desire to see her under a bus has been implied by a number of cartoonists.
Maybe. You mention cartoonists. It is they who have been by far the best political commentators in recent years, while most journalists have been what Katharine Murphy (Guardian) calls observers of the political process, rather than observers of the content. They are like football commentators who simply talk about where the ball is while mentioning nothing about what the players are doing.
I love Mike’s idea that maybe Morrison told News corpse about the “lying cow” line, making Linda Reynolds take even more flak than she had already. That’s one MP who should not have been allowed to get hold of a ministry, but given the brainpower scarcity evident in the Liberal party room, a PM has very few options when picking his cabinet. Reynolds will be dumped as collateral damage soon, and another defence minister of cleanskin reputation appointed. Except that the notion of there being “cleanskins” in this repulsive government, invokes my laughter. Scummo clearly wants to remain “teflon man” in all of the chaos over allegations of misconduct. Thus his constant non-committal, evasive statements to the media. His fallback is silly stuff like ” I’m not the law; I’m not the police”. His ministers can fall on their swords, but the PM shall remain intact. Even if he’s an emperor on parade in public, wearing no ethical clothes.
I think you are correct, that Reynolds will be given the boot, as a sacrificial lamb. Morrison is much like Trump in his attitude to his position. All things are in the service of his ego. Like Trump his ego is massive, but he has no reason to have such a massive ego.