Floored but unsurprised

By February 12, 2022Australian Politics, Society

Karen Middleton, in The Saturday Paper, has reported that Scott Morrison’s apology to abuse victims was not supposed to happen. He intended to leave it for the presiding officers instead1. The presiding officers comprise the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Andrew Wallace and the President of the Senate, Slade Brockman. It was they who, in the first sitting day of parliament this year, delivered a Statement on behalf of the Parliamentary Cross-Party Leadership Taskforce as recommended by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins. This was after her report on the history of workplace bullying, sexual harassment and sexual assault in Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces was published in the final sitting week of parliament for 20212

Leader of the Opposition Anthony Albanese’s staff had told the Prime Minister’s staff that Albanese wanted to speak on this topic. It seems that Morrison only decided to deliver this speech for fear of being upstaged by Albanese delivering his own apology1.

In the speech on Tuesday morning, Morrison apologised to all former parliamentary staff and others who had experienced bullying, harassment and sexual assault. He directly addressed former government staffer Brittany Higgins, who was watching from the public gallery. It was she who was allegedly raped by a former colleague in a ministerial office1. Higgins’ presence, with others, in the chamber gallery was a late addition as they were initially not invited to watch the apology. Independent MP Zali Steggall facilitated their attendance at the last minute, as her guests, accompanied by one of her staff1.

Many people were alarmed that Morrison named Brittany Higgins when the trial of the alleged perpetrator is due to commence in the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court in June3. Lawyers for the man accused of raping Ms Higgins said the comments were “extraordinarily prejudicial” to their client, and could contribute to the indefinite delay to the trial4.

When interviewed on morning television, Karen Middleton said Morrison gave a “heartfelt” apology. This amazed me. The fact that an experienced journalist could construe anything that Morrison does as being heartfelt, beggars belief. Has she not been aware of the constant lying about vaccines5, RATs6, greenhouse gas emissions and his faux agreement with the Nationals7, and the fact of his lying8? His constant refusal to answer questions9? His acquiescence in the face of vaccine disinformation from members of his party10? His refusal to do anything about the numerous instances of corruption11? His refusal to ever accept responsibility for anything, his constant shifting of blame to someone else12?

I seriously doubt Morrison has ever done anything which is heartfelt. To do something which is heartfelt, you first have to have a ‘heart’; to have a conscience; to have empathy. Morrison only appears to have a conscience when someone, possibly with a conscience, tells him what to do. The only things Morrison ever does are in the short-term service of his aims, with little thought for the consequences for anyone else. The sole measure of his success in his eyes is effectively being able to say ‘I’m the Prime Minister’, which, in addition to addressing his bathroom mirror, he has said in public a few times. That is all that matters to him. 

Sources

  1. https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2022/02/12/exclusive-pm-planned-not-deliver-abuse-apology/164458440013310
  2. https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Department_of_Parliamentary_Services/News_and_media/Joint_statements_by_the_Presiding_Officers/Statement_of_Acknowledgement_20220208
  3. https://noplaceforsheep.com/2022/02/12/morrison-attempts-to-derail-rape-trial-under-guise-of-apology/
  4. https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/brittany-higgins-accused-to-seek-trial-delay-after-pm-apology-20220211-p59vuc
  5. https://blotreport.com/2021/08/18/the-morrison-nightmare/
  6. https://blotreport.com/2022/01/15/rats-lies-from-joyce-ruston-morrison/
  7. https://blotreport.com/2021/10/27/coalition-politicians-dont-care-about-their-children/
  8. https://blotreport.com/2021/11/10/morrison-lying-about-lying/
  9. https://blotreport.com/2022/01/21/bizarre-morrison-press-conference/
  10. https://blotreport.com/2020/10/23/government-disinformation/
  11. https://blotreport.com/2021/10/06/corruption-galore-10/
  12. https://blotreport.com/2021/11/01/a-question-of-character/

8 Comments

  • Arthur Baker says:

    If Morrison’s apology was heartfelt, he might have demonstrated that by at least bothering to invite Brittany Higgins, and several others with a strong personal interest in the issue, to be present while he delivered it.

    But he didn’t bother, and nor did any of his many Coalition colleagues. One would have hoped at least one of them might have thought it was important, or even courteous. But courtesy is hardly the LNP’s cup of cocoa, apparently, so it was left to the Independent Zali Steggall to shame them by displaying the courtesy herself.

    This will not have gone unnoticed here in the electorate of Warringah, where people are now becoming familiar with an MP’s thoughtfulness, courtesy, and measured tone, following a 25-year period of Abbottly oafishness and ignorance which disrespected and diminished us all. Morrison is welcome to nominate any Liberal stooge he likes to challenge Ms Steggall in the forthcoming election, and we’ll see how that goes. I’m predicting Antony Green to call Warringah for Zali before 8pm on election night, as he did last time.

    • admin says:

      Arthur,
      I imagine in my occasional febrile dreams that there are people in Warringah who formerly were rusted-on Abbott voters, who now cannot believe they actually voted for the pillock for so long and certainly don’t want it to be widely known.

      • Arthur Baker says:

        Febrile or not, you’d probably be right. A turning point in my understanding of Liberal opinion in this electorate came a couple of months before the 2019 election. I have a friend who lives in Mosman which is part of Warringah along with bits of Cremorne, Neutral Bay, and the lower Northern Beaches. Mosman is one of Sydney’s and indeed Australia’s wealthiest suburbs, up there in the Point Piper/Toorak/Peppermint Grove league. He’s a really nice guy, progressive (worked voluntarily on Amnesty International’s refugee campaign), just happens to have made a pile of money in business and has a lovely harbour view in Mosman.

        He emailed me at that stage to say he knew lots of Mosman Liberals, some very wealthy/influential, and that NOT ONE of them was going to vote for Abbott. “I can tell you for sure he won’t win”, he wrote, much to my delight. Prince Philip’s knighthood had been the embarrassing last straw. Mind you, that’s not to say they might vote for another Liberal with a tad more sense and a tad less oafish (huh, wouldn’t take much), but one thing’s certain – although he still buzzes around aimlessly like an irritating blowfly and every bit as toxic, Abbott won’t be making a comeback hereabouts. Not even in the mansions of Mosman.

  • Jon says:

    What Middleton meant to say was “election-felt”. The Saturday article was good, I’ll give her that. Left it to the reader to draw their own conclusions. Morrison appealing to his cronies with lines like “think of your country” (for once in your lives) should be plastered on posters across the nation along with the multitude of instances where Morrison didn’t.

    What none of these journalists can say on the record is that the PMO mimics the bloke it works for. The same credibility, honesty and integrity. Anyone believing the conclusions of any of the enquiries into controversial matters handled in that office is naive and gullible in the extreme. If Morrison was heartfelt in his apology then he should start by looking in the mirror.

    While PH and independent political journos have fiddled at the fringes wrt Morrison’s character for years, Grace Tame quickly got to the heart of what he is politically – a clueless, blame-shifting bully. “Tame tweeted criticism of the proposed investigation [into the warning phone call Tame received]. She said it was a product of “the very same embedded structural silencing culture that drove the call in the first place”. Nailed it again Grace.

  • jon says:

    Did everyone see the cast of the “freedom” influencers today? Some of their former and current allegiances (Lib Party, Bernardi Party, Craig Kelly….) are instructive.

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/victoria/falling-into-the-freedom-movement-and-getting-out-20220104-p59lsl.html

    • admin says:

      Jon,
      That was an excellent and very interesting read. I have just found out that a relative of mine has gone down that same rabbit-hole.

  • Jon says:

    Thanks to what I gather is a Nine 60 Minutes Stefanovic puff piece – I didn’t watch it as I’ve already experienced projectile vomiting courteous of some green sausages in the bush years ago – we’ve finally learnt why Morrison didn’t find the time to order enough vaccines and RATs or look after vulnerable people in aged care homes. He was apparently wearing out the carpet around his bed worrying about everyone and spending hour upon hour praying for Australians. Good to see he still has his priorities right.

    From the little I’ve read of this brilliant work of journalism I think Jenny is now also fair game. Comments about Grace Tame’s attitude to her beloved Scottie (how dare she show her contempt) means she’s no longer an innocent bystander but is now well and truly in the game. As someone said the other day – if she was dismayed about someone calling her husband a psycho wait until she learns what he did to refugees.

    This sort of blinkered partner blindness raises an interesting question. Does politics pervert a person’s character – or at least bring out their wprst characteristics, or does it actually expose the real character of that person? I’m firmly in the latter camp.

    • admin says:

      Jon,
      Me too. The way politics is at present, especially in the Coalition, with its bigotry, corruption and venality, it is my firm belief that it attracts the sort of people you wouldn’t trust to look after your cat.

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