…of women whose allegations don’t harm the wrong side, that is
EVEN though his name was being jealously redacted by the media, in August 2014 Bill Shorten outed himself as the “senior Labor figure” at the centre of a Victoria police ‘investigation’ into an accusation that he had raped a woman at a Young Labor camp in 1986. Police concluded there was no prospect of a conviction – a very concise formula which most reporters felt obliged to re-write as cleared of. Some took the sub-editorial economies of partisan rehabilitation still further and favoured “exonerated.” Michelle Grattan’s main concern was Shorten’s political future rather than “the woman.” Then Prime Minister Tony Abbott was, after all, the Trump of the time and an angry accuser could derail the media’s push to demonise him out of The Lodge:
A very different – very woman-focused Michelle Grattan – has this morning analysed the Brittany Higgins rape claim which she presents as a scandal embroiling… Scott Morrison. No “closer scrutiny” today. For the record: there is as much proof Miss Higgins’ Parliament House paramour committed a sexual crime as there is that Bill Shorten did. Which is to say, none. That security personnel were aware she was wandering around dishevelled proves only that she was drunk. Who’s fault is that? Here’s a ‘cultural change’ suggestion: teach young women working in Canberra that life isn’t an ADF commercial; no, you can’t match it with the men at all things – most especially, drinking.
Higgins says she has changed her mind and now wants the AFP to investigate whether she consented to sexual intercourse while drunk two years ago. But she admits she has no clear recollection of what happened the night she somehow ended up in the Parliament House office of the Minister for Defence. As you do.
Good luck with that.