In front of the cameras while on a visit to Windaroo during the 2019 federal election campaign, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said “…We had one of the early questions on rape, and women being raped and the lack of reporting, and one of the things that often happens with that is they are not believed, and their stories are not believed, and it’s important their stories are believed, and they know that if they come forward their stories will be believed. As I said, my father was a police officer, and you can only, you know, pursue the crimes when they are reported, often, and so women in those circumstances, I think, should have a greater sense of confidence that if they tell their stories, that they’ll be believed.”1
Apart from being a noxious word salad, in which he uses 100 words where 20 would suffice, journalists actually believed he meant this.
Moving forward to 2021, Morrison has twice invoked the Sergeant Schultz defence of ignorance. When, in early 2021, Brittany Higgins stated she was raped in the Defence Minister’s suite by another staffer before the 2019 election, and despite Linda Reynolds being told of the rape at the time, Morrison maintained he only heard of the alleged rape in the middle of February 20212. Many people, me included, find it almost impossible to believe this to be the case. In government, one of the mantras is ‘no surprises’, and this means everything that happens, especially something so appalling, is sent up the food chain so that senior bureaucrats and, in this case, politicians will not be embarrassed by their ignorance in front of a microphone.
Now, with the allegations of rape against Christian Porter, and despite Morrison’s office receiving a copy of the 31 page ‘dossier’ from the deceased woman and her friends, Morrison maintained he hadn’t read it. Porter also said he hadn’t read it3. A couple of days ago, Morrison declared Porter to be ‘an innocent man’4. It is only when he wants your vote that Morrison says he believes women.