The Schtumming of the Capital

Linda Reynolds had no authority to keep mum on the Higgins crisis and should resign

HAVING read more about the Brittany Higgins rape scandal – especially the Morrison government’s responses to the night in question – I now think my first reading of the affair as yet another boilerplate, hypocrisy-laden culture brawl involving vague charges and cynical exploitation was off the mark. Not wrong, though: the left’s assault on the rule of law and the presumption of innocence – to ‘get’ its enemies – has resulted in several show trials that constitute an assault on hitherto agreed-upon civil and legal norms.

It would be no exaggeration to say that the vigilante framing of Andrew Bolt, John Jarrat, Geoffrey Rush, Craig McLachlan and George Pell – and many others the left wasn’t quite able to drag into a courtroom – amounts to an insurrection. It follows that when never-surrender #MeToo jungle Japs, bluestockings and the ALP begin castigating a Liberal Prime Minister about his management of unproven claims of a sexual assault, you’re on guard as a matter of prudent course. In letters, as in life, however, you also have to be on guard against being mistakenly on guard.

Put aside, then, how truthful and justiciable the Higgins accusation is per se – a separate question that police, a public prosecutor’s office and a jury may (or may not) determine in the future. Disregard also how irresponsible the complainant herself may have been and how oddly campaign-like her behaviour this week.

Let’s instead turn to what can be prosecuted now: the case of the astonishing failure of a Minister for Defence to inform the Prime Minister that her office was unlawfully accessed by two sozzled staffers and then became the scene of an alleged rape. That Miss Higgins – embarrassed and flustered – didn’t want the incident investigated by police is irrelevant. Her privacy rights do not extend to a veto power over a senior minister’s responsibility to brief the PM about an event so serious. The Parliament belongs to us. It isn’t a football clubhouse. Then there is the matter of evidence: protected by the union or not, the security guards who were present that night ought to be interviewed about what happened. Presumably, they will be if the AFP becomes involved. Other loose ends abound: CCTV footage, security protocols, statements by the accused at the time of his dismissal etc.

Linda Reynolds created this mess and should now do the honourable thing: go.

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107 Responses to The Schtumming of the Capital

  1. Jo says:

    The one thing we do know is that politicians are not honourable.

  2. Rafe Champion says:

    Is anyone going go emerge from this saga with honour and credibility intact.
    A microcosm of decadence from top to bottom.
    Where can kids find role models?

  3. stackja says:

    Department of Defence is accident prone.

  4. Scott Osmond says:

    Linda isn’t going anywhere. Responsibility and accountability doesn’t get a look in when you are at that level. I’m left wondering just how secure our national security information is. A couple of drunks get in to the minister’s office and serious questions aren’t asked and security heads don’t roll? Putting aside what if anything happened in there, this office contains information of national security for fucks sake. I’ve believed for some time that both sides of the by-factional ruling party and their junior member the Greens don’t take national security seriously and this is one more data point in that assessment.

  5. Simple Simon says:

    Rafe Champion
    #3760519, posted on February 18, 2021 at 2:50 pm

    Where can kids find role models?

    In a functional society, children should find their role models in their parents, close relatives, and perhaps after that in friends and acquaintances. It has been demonstrated by reliable research (I know!) that despite the propaganda that peers, ‘celebrities’, sport ‘stars’ (who are, at length, just adults playing children’s games for money), and even (heaven forfend!) politicians, etc. are so important (doncha know) in moulding children’s values, it is their parents who are most important.

    Too many adults seem to want to outsource their perhaps second-most important role (after providing food and shelter), that of imparting sound values to their children.

    Where can one’s own children best find role models? Look in the mirror, and take responsibility.
    Be the change you wish to see.

  6. Anonandon says:

    The bonfire of the vanities

  7. candy says:

    Is it possible this is the PM’s way of getting rid of Linda Reynolds due to her handling of the Brereton report plus he wants to get out of the submarine contract?

    It is astounding he was not informed about an alleged rape in the Defence Minister’s office let alone the massive breach of security. I would have to assume some communication was made to the PM’s office by someone from Ms Reynolds’ office, to be logical. Otherwise a situation where everyone in gossipy Parliament House knew except the PM’s office does not ring true.

    In some way, someone is withholding relevant information.

  8. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    That Miss Higgins – embarrassed and flustered – didn’t want the incident investigated by police is irrelevant. Her privacy rights do not extend to a veto power over a senior minister’s responsibility to brief the PM about an event so serious.

    Pretty much what Rita Panahi was saying on 2GB yesterday. I wasn’t in agreement because if a staffer says she doesn’t want to report it to the police then that’s her choice. Forcing her in front of plod could be construed as bullying, thereby leading to a different mess. And just reporting to the Prime Minister and not then to plod would be its own mess – the MSM would be screeching about coverups.
    I’m very wary of this story, there seem to be murky depths to it that we aren’t hearing about.

  9. Up The Workers! says:

    Is this the A.C.T. Plodforce we’re talking about here?

    Aren’t they the same Labor-run, blind, deaf, dumb, bought and bent characters involved in the notorious cover-up of the identity of the possibly drunken, or worse – possibly drugged – recidivist hoon-driver booked 8 times in a 3-month period for dangerously driving the Prime Minister’s car whilst Juliar Gillard was in the Lodge?

    Common or garden variety members of the peasantry have their cars seized and crushed – even for one such offence, but possibly drugged or drunk ‘above-the-law’ members of the Labor Party can keep on coming back two, three, four, five, six, seven and even eight separate times in a 3-month period committing the same offence without any car-crushing penalty.

    Should we all be driving our own cars in the manner that this anonymous hoon was endangering lives by dangerously driving the Prime Ministers’ car? Would we all be treated the first 8 times in just as lenient a manner as the Canberra Police Farce treated that anonymous driver?

    It wouldn’t have been a real good look if the Labor Prime Ministerial vehicle had run down and killed a family or some kiddies or a couple of elderly citizens whilst hooning about the streets like a brainless drunk yob in a stolen car. Maybe they would have blamed it on Tony Abbott or Cardinal Pell?

    Sounds like ultra-corrupt Victorian-standard monocular Labor-Policing to me.

  10. Rob says:

    This is an unedifying conversation – too many pious people chiming in without contributing anything useful.
    It certainly isn’t the sort of sensible and informed discourse one might expect on Catalaxy.
    Unworthy!
    Leave it to the trash journalists and a political class that will manipulate it to serve their own purposes.

  11. C.L. says:

    Don’t be silly, Rob.

  12. Des Deskperson says:

    ‘Then there is the matter of evidence: protected by the union or not, the security guards who were present that night ought to be interviewed about what happened. ‘

    The internal security of Parliament House is the responsibility of the Parliamentary Security Service. These people are managed by the Department of Parliamentary Services and are presumably employed under the Parliamentary Service Act 1999, like most other APH employees.

    The Act contains a Code of Conduct. I’m not a lawyer, but there are several elements in that Code, including:

    ‘A Parliamentary Service employee must behave honestly and with integrity in connection with Parliamentary Service employment’.

    that could require PSS members to co-operate in any investigation.

    PSS employees would, and certainly should have been, required to sign up to the fact that they had read and understood the Code before being engaged.

    The unions would have no leg to stand on.

  13. Buccaneer says:

    Will the male staffer’s defence be come on man, I thought you liked me? Excuse my flippancy, but when a serious incident becomes a political football before the complainant has taken appropriate action with the authorities to have the claim tested, it’s a bit hard to take it all seriously. Now if there was a media silence and the police refused to investigate then someone needs to speak up.

  14. Roger says:

    I’m very wary of this story, there seem to be murky depths to it that we aren’t hearing about.

    The murky depths appear to swirl around an attempt to get Morrison.

    I note Ms. Higgins now claiming that the PM’s office is briefing the press against her.

    Whatever the truth is, yet again it has been confirmed that Canberra is a fetid billabong cut off from mainstream Australia and inhabited by assorted low lifes of dubious moral character who add little value to the nation’s democratic polity, such as it is.

    The nation would be better off if it were substantially defunded and its constitutionally justifiable functions decentralised.

  15. Des Deskperson says:

    ‘Is this the A.C.T. Plodforce we’re talking about here?’

    External security at APH is provided by the Australian Protective Service, a branch of the AFP. Since they are armed – sometimes heavily – we must assume that they are at least adequately professionally trained.

    Internal security is provided by the Parliamentary Protective Services. I understand that this is the organisation embroiled on the Higgins affair.

    I am less confident of the professionalism of this body. From the admittedly little that I have seen of it, one of its functions appears to be to provide a pension supplementation for ex-not particularly senior members of the APS and the ADF.

  16. Cassie of Sydney says:

    “Whatever the truth is, yet again it has been confirmed that Canberra is a fetid billabong cut off from mainstream Australia and inhabited by assorted low lifes of dubious moral character who add little value to the nation’s democratic polity, such as it is.”

    Comment of the day.

  17. Des Deskperson says:

    It’s a swamp inside the ‘Hexagon’, Cassie, but out here in the boonies it’s not so bad, when it’s a five minute walk to beautiful views over the Bullen, Tidbinbilla and Brindabella Ranges and a ten minute walk to the banks of the Murrumbidgee.

  18. Entropy says:

    If the lady in question didn’t want any further action it would be a breech of confidence for Reynolds to tell the PM wouldn’t it? He is also a…Man!

    But yeah Reynolds should resign on general principles like competence and submarines. This incident shouldn’t be the excuse.

  19. pbw says:

    There are two stories; one about Canberra politics, and one about sexual politics.

    What actually happened to the “heavily inebriated” Brittany Higgins is now irrelevant to all of the players in this performance except Brittany Higgins and the accused, and it is difficult to determine whether the accused is singular or plural.

    The swirling uncertainties of this story underline the fact that no-one outside a very small circle knows what happened. I am as keen as anyone to see quota-deadwood removed from Cabinet, and that might be a good result after careful consideration of the facts, but I don’t want to see yet another quick victory for the Canberra dingo pack. There remains the possibility that Reynolds opted to inform the PM by a plausibly deniable back-channel of the event. In that case, nobody is getting sacked, unless it comes to light and Morrison comes under pressure.

    The media and Opposition smell blood, and ScoMo’s responses don’t do a lot to clear the air. All this is politics as we know it.

    “What would you want to happen if it were our boys?”

    This is the sexual-politics question; it cannot be asked of ScoMo, or of Tony Abbott for that matter. But the question has to be asked. What is the future for men in this reality-tv star chamber we call governance, Federal and State?

    Maybe Higgins was drugged, which would be unconscionable. Statistically more likely, though, she decided to drink herself into a stupor because that is overwhelmingly how young women end up in that condition. It is a choice they make, and they make it for their own reasons, one especially.

    In this era of strong, independent, etc., etc., women, we are curiously unable to assign deliberate agency to the decision by many young women to reduce or eliminate their capacity for deliberate agency in these and similar circumstances. This allows women the option of rewriting their own history according to the exigencies of the moment.

    Everybody knows. But no-one will say so, though the usual suspects will howl for the cancelling and conviction of men.

    The talk now is about “cleaning up the culture” of Parliament. Do we not by now know exactly what that means? Kulcha Kleansing is just another opportunity to give strong, blah-blah, women yet another systematic leg-up over men, and it should be presented as such in the pitifully few fora that are capable of sane responses.

  20. Forester says:

    Bruce of Newcastle at 3:16 pm

    “I’m very wary of this story, there seem to be murky depths to it that we aren’t hearing about.”

    More so because she’s enlisted “The Project” to ‘help’.

    There’s a PhD going begging looking at the historic timeline of the replacement of career public servants as a sources of political advice with alcoholic delayed adolescents.

  21. Roger says:

    It’s a swamp inside the ‘Hexagon’, Cassie, but out here in the boonies it’s not so bad, when it’s a five minute walk to beautiful views over the Bullen, Tidbinbilla and Brindabella Ranges and a ten minute walk to the banks of the Murrumbidgee.

    Des, in what I wrote “Canberra” is a synechdoche for Parliament House and its assorted public service and media hangers on (no offence!).

  22. Rex Mango says:

    Why do the Libs employ these female staffers, when the ABC seems able to turn them into sex scandals at will?

  23. Entropy says:

    There’s a PhD going begging looking at the historic timeline of the replacement of career public servants as a sources of political advice with alcoholic delayed adolescents.

    Or advisers with real world experience in the relevant sector. This nonsense of graduates in MOs must be ended with prejudice.

  24. Albatross says:

    Yeah. This is super important and needs more oxygen.

  25. Peter S says:

    That this story is being played out in the political arena with the alleged victim playing a central role should be a warning to everybody to shut up and stop the gossip and speculation. The alleged victim was advised to report the incident to the police which she didn’t. It his not her managers role to play social worker – they do have an obligation to encourage and assist the victim in making a complaint, and as far as I am aware that was done. She chose not to do so at the time.

    On the other side is the alleged perpetrator and thus far we haven’t heard a thing from him.

    Once a complaint is made, a police investigation conducted and a brief of evidence is prepared, and charges, if any, laid all speculation in the media and on blogs such as this should cease. Trial by political games, mainstream media and by social media is not how our justice system is meant to work and if it continues it can prejudice any case that makes it to trial.

    We already have precedents that illustrate this clearly. One would have thought we had learnt from that but evidently not.

  26. Geof Whyte says:

    I am intrigued as to what they were doing in the Ministers office in the first place which I thought would have been a “no go area” office booze up or not. Pretty sensitive material stored in there.

  27. Des Deskperson says:

    ‘Or advisers with real world experience in the relevant sector. This nonsense of graduates in MOs must be ended with prejudice.’

    It is useful to note that, unlike almost every other employee in a Commonwealth budget-funded agency*, there is no requirement for MOPS Act employees be selected on the basis of merit and open competition. There is no requirement of them to be assessed in terms of their ability to do the job.

    Taxpayers have no assurance that they will be getting value for money from these people.

    * another exception is the ABC, at least as far a senior jobs go.

  28. Lysander says:

    I haven’t followed this very closely as I’ve been busy at work…However, having worked at two separate Parliaments across Australia I make a few simple observations:

    -At both Parliaments, key staff are given access cards and can come and go as they please. For certain staff, such as myself back in the day, this would include a card to the Ministerial office;
    -Given Parliament(s) usually sit till whenever in the AM, your card has 24/7 access and you can come and go whenever you want;
    -If you’d forgotten your card, after a few months you were usually pally enough with the guards to be let in anyway – “smokers in arms” as I used to call them;
    -In accordance with various security Acts etc.. I have never once worked in such an office that would leave sensitive papers out on a desk anywhere so very small risk of anything leaked in the night hours;
    -On many, many occasions, we staff would end up having a few beers toward the earlier hours of the morn. That’s to be expected when working under that pressure…

    I’m not judging anyone as anything here; not Linda, not Brittney. I’m just saying these are usually the facts/rules for Ministerial staffers.

  29. PB says:

    “I am intrigued as to what they were doing in the Ministers office in the first place which I thought would have been a “no go area”

    Perhaps in this case it was a “no-spouse” area for someone with card access, and known to Security.

  30. notafan says:

    Agree Peter S

    Also wholeheartedly agree that graduate muppets have no place as ministerial advisors, senior or junior.

    There are loads of graduate programs both public and private where they can prance around and gain work experience.

    Straight to the minister’s office on a very high salary. Absolutely not.

    Five years relevant industry experience should be minimum.

  31. Lysander says:

    PB, could be anything!

    For example, I’ve been on very long trips with Ministers, only to arrive back at work at some ungodly hour to drop them off to their car, pick up work, sign some things, make some phone-calls only to agree to a quick scotch or two with a colleague before taxiing it home…could be literally any reason…

    I even took the wife and kids in one night for dinner and a few beers.

  32. Lysander says:

    And Nota…

    We never had grads but we had the “Young XXXXXs” (insert whichever Party you like) that would come in and work for their party off the books. It is a very grey area but they all do it and they kinda have to do it or they wont last politically.

  33. H B Bear says:

    The Lieborals being dragged into another war on Liar ground. Sun Tzu would not be impressed.

  34. chrism says:

    It seems that the young man may not have had capacity to consent due to alcohol intoxication.

    What does that mean legal issues wise?

  35. H B Bear says:

    It’s all fun playing politics until someone gets f***ed in the a***.

  36. Lysander says:

    I just think it “interesting” (without being determinative) that I (thought I) saw someone had kept a record of a phone conversation from a year ago or something?

    I don’t know who it was, which “side” or anything as only saw it briefly… either way, that’s just plain odd.

  37. Simple Simon says:

    Rex Mango
    #3760690, posted on February 18, 2021 at 5:15 pm

    Why do the Libs employ these female staffers, when the ABC seems able to turn them into sex scandals at will?

    It wouldn’t matter if they employed only male staffers, as the travails of a certain former Speaker made clear.
    Plus, if they only employed male staffers the cry would be, ‘SEXISM! DISCRIMINATION! LIBERALS HAVE A WOMAN PROBLEM!’

    ‘Never apologise, never explain. Get it done and let them howl.’

  38. notafan says:

    Why do they have to do it Lysander?

    Fam member worked for a few years for a pollie, all very above board , occasionally someone drifting though on work experience, don’t know they were useful.

  39. Simple Simon says:

    H B Bear
    #3760829, posted on February 18, 2021 at 7:08 pm

    The Lieborals being dragged into another war on Liar ground. Sun Tzu would not be impressed.

    Quite so.
    Neither am I, nor anyone else with strategic sense and eyes to see.

    Scott Morrison on the other hand no doubt thinks that he is a cunning master strategist.

  40. H B Bear says:

    I just think it “interesting” (without being determinative) that I (thought I) saw someone had kept a record of a phone conversation from a year ago or something?

    I thnk if I worked in Parliament House I would want a body camera with tape backup.

  41. H B Bear says:

    Scott Morrison on the other hand no doubt thinks that he is a cunning master strategist.

    Two words. Lara Bingle.

  42. Lysander says:

    Nota, I think it is good for Ministers (who, obviously belong to a Party) to have the Young XXXXXX’s in their offices from time to time. For a number of reasons: They are usually more connected to the ground and network of public members and issues than Ministers, It provides a chance to (for use of a better word) “groom” the upcomers, the work experiencee gets to go back to the electorate and report on issues from the top, It confirms Ministerial policy being implemented in line with Party X’s policies, is a good PR exercise and, lastly, it’s another hand around the place when there aren’t ever enough!

  43. Terry Pedersen says:

    “I am intrigued as to what they were doing in the Ministers office in the first place which I thought would have been a “no go area”

    Perhaps in this case it was a “no-spouse” area for someone with card access, and known to Security.

    By the numbers

    1. Since they both lived in the same direction he had offered to share a cab home.
    2. He said he had to pick up something on the way. Didn’t say what or that it was at Parliament House.
    3. At Parliament House he paid the cabbie and sent it away.
    4. She decided that it would be safer inside Parliament House than to wait outside alone.
    5. When they got to Reynolds’ office he disappeared, ostensibly to collect what he was supposed to pick up.
    6. While waiting she fell asleep on the sofa.
    7. She awoke to find him on top of her “[email protected]”.
    8. She started crying and asked him to stop, 6 times. He didn’t.
    9. He finished , stood up and left.
    10 Security staff came in later and found her in a state of distress and partial undress.

    You can cross-check with the interview video.

    https://youtu.be/nyjkjeoO2o4

  44. Lysander says:

    The only other significant point I forgot Nota, is politics is often in-the-family… (more typically seen in the ALP, Nats but also somewhat prevalent in SFLs): If your dad, sister, cousin worked back in the day for Minister X and you were still a Party X member, OR your relation WAS the Minister, there’s a lot of quid pro quo that goes on.

    You, as a Minister, also need to see what is coming up as far as talent/faction/competition is concerned…

  45. Simple Simon says:

    chrism
    #3760831, posted on February 18, 2021 at 7:09 pm

    It seems that the young man may not have had capacity to consent due to alcohol intoxication.

    What does that mean legal issues wise?

    chrism, intoxication absolves women of responsibility but compounds the responsibility of men.

    He would be doubly responsible, once for the things of which he is accused, and twice for allowing himself to become intoxicated to the point of not being in control of himself. She, on the other hand, is a helpless victim of his alleged actions, of sexist biology which causes women, on average, to become intoxicated on less volume than men, of the inaction of those who allowed her to drink to excess, of the ‘security guards’ who failed to chaperone her, of….. well, everything really.

    The basic legal principle is, men have responsibility for their own behaviour, circumstances, problems, and solution; women are helpless victims who society must protect.

  46. Lysander says:

    Last ramble on this point: If you worked for an immortalised vision of Gough and had been a party member of some backyard ALP branch , you would have earned a “Spiritual Access Card” into the ALP for yourself and your family for life. Keating took advantage of this (and many of him), many others too… Cassidy etc…the list goes on and on!

    Put yourself in as Minister in a place like/from ALP Victoria where branch staking is rife and you soon realise why you want to see what talent/competition is on the rise and to keep the party punters happy!… ” the faceless men” hahaha!!!

  47. Chris M says:

    That Miss Higgins – embarrassed and flustered

    Because blind drunk and hanging out with sleazy political types?

  48. H B Bear says:

    “I am intrigued as to what they were doing in the Ministers office in the first place which I thought would have been a “no go area”

    Confession. I have a photo somewhere of my feet up on a Minister’s desk. The whole of Parliament House is treated like a tourist site, particularly if you know someone who works (worked) there. I presume the good stuff was locked away. I must admit I didn’t go looking. I’m not sure I would have done with the Managing Directors desk, even on the weekend. At least while I was employed and wished to remain so.

  49. Rafiki says:

    Peter S
    Any rules designed to shut up people talking and speculating about a prospective criminal trial need to operate well before charges are laid. Give modern media, such talk now spreads quickly and widely .

  50. H B Bear says:

    For the record, parliament was not sitting and the place was a virtual ghost town.

  51. Rebel with cause says:

    there is no requirement for MOPS Act employees be selected on the basis of merit and open competition. There is no requirement of them to be assessed in terms of their ability to do the job.

    No requirement that the job actually serve a useful function either – why did the Minister for Defence Industry need an Assistant Media Adviser? Surely that office can’t have had more than a few media releases a week and the occasional social media post.

  52. H B Bear says:

    And the photo was one of those good old fashioned ones that cannot be copied and circulated at will.

  53. Entropy says:

    Jan Murray visited the sports Ministers Office out of hours as I recall.

  54. Lysander says:

    Rebel, the staffing is determined by DPM&C at a Department level; there are a certain amount of staff you’re allowed to have at certain levels, One CoS, several X Advisers on Policy, X Media team, X Admins etc… it depends on the portfolio(s) you have and if you’re in the Party leadership team or not (which might get you 0.5 of an extra FTE for “constituent enquiries” as voters will only go to a leader, deputy to complain or ask for things first… ).

  55. Lysander says:

    We, at the State level, always used to fight with DPC as they would never budge on extra staff.

  56. Entropy says:

    Or was it tourism?

  57. Entropy says:

    The growth in zom&C in recent years has to be seen to be believed. I understand it all started with that control freak Rd, and the current lot have accelerated it. I reckon the Brisbane PM&C office would almost be as big as the entirety of PM&C in the eighties.

  58. Lysander says:

    I never made it into the secret hallows of the zom&c Entropy 😛

    (Sorry mate, couldn’t help myself!)

  59. H B Bear says:

    Jan Murray visited the sports Ministers Office out of hours as I recall.

    At least taxpayers weren’t the only ones getting f***ed back then.

  60. Entropy says:

    Yeah I shouldn’t post in such a hurry.

  61. Entropy says:

    But strangely the typo seems a tad appropo.

  62. Lysander says:

    Hahaha no probs Entropy; just having some fun…

    All you Cats behave, see you next week!

  63. notafan says:

    Thanks Lysander

  64. Roger says:

    Rebel, the staffing is determined by DPM&C at a Department level; there are a certain amount of staff you’re allowed to have at certain levels, One CoS, several X Advisers on Policy, X Media team, X Admins etc…

    This is a large part of the problem.

    Aren’t the best and brightest in the public service supposed to provide impartial advice to a minister?

    Instead they hire ill equipped junior party hacks climbing the Canberra ladder whose highest loyalty is to themselves.

  65. Des Deskperson says:

    ‘The growth in zom&C in recent years has to be seen to be believed.’

    PM&C grew because, under Abbott, it took over the old ATSIC rump – around an extra 1200 staff.

    In 2014, its numbers were around 2100

    The National Indigenous Australian Agency was hived off in, IIRC, 2019.

    PM&C is now back to around 950.

    .

  66. Des Deskperson says:

    ‘Rebel, the staffing is determined by DPM&C at a Department level’

    No, it’s determined by the Prime Minister .

  67. C.L. says:

    1. Since they both lived in the same direction he had offered to share a cab home.
    2. He said he had to pick up something on the way. Didn’t say what or that it was at Parliament House.
    3. At Parliament House he paid the cabbie and sent it away.
    4. She decided that it would be safer inside Parliament House than to wait outside alone.
    5. When they got to Reynolds’ office he disappeared, ostensibly to collect what he was supposed to pick up.
    6. While waiting she fell asleep on the sofa.
    7. She awoke to find him on top of her “[email protected]”.
    8. She started crying and asked him to stop, 6 times. He didn’t.
    9. He finished , stood up and left.
    10 Security staff came in later and found her in a state of distress and partial undress.

    Mmm.
    She doesn’t mention her state, alcohol-wise (according to your version of what she said). But she fell asleep in a matter of seconds and didn’t notice a man’s weight atop her or his re-arrangement of her clothing to effect the assault – nor even the first half of it. Explain that please.

  68. Albatross says:

    Simple Simon
    #3760872, posted on February 18, 2021 at 7:32 pm
    […]
    The basic legal principle is, men have responsibility for their own behaviour, circumstances, problems, and solution; women are helpless victims who society must protect.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIQj3SecNCM

  69. notafan says:

    Not just that. In such alledged clear cut circumstances and clear recollections why not immediately the police?

  70. Squirrel says:

    When this first broke, I had wondered whether it was part of a cunning plan to get Reynolds, but if so, it now makes Wile E. Coyote look like the rankest of amateurs.

    Whatever the case, I’m fast losing interest – but the resemblance between Ms Higgins and a younger Sarah Huckabee Sanders is something to muse over.

  71. Terry Pedersen says:

    She doesn’t mention her state, alcohol-wise

    Yes, she does, at the outset of the interview. Even says she fell down because of it at the party (skinned her knee or elbow) and that it was why she decided it was time to go home.

    Maybe you should watch the video. Try to keep an open mind.

  72. Dot says:

    So if they were both drunk as a skunk and she cannot recall everything that happened?

    Then possibly, she’s not the victim.

    Has a police report been filed? Or is this stage managed?

  73. Terry Pedersen says:

    she fell asleep in a matter of seconds and didn’t notice a man’s weight atop her or his re-arrangement of her clothing to effect the assault – nor even the first half of it. Explain that please.

    It’s why I think spiking of her drink remains a distinct likelihood. Heard of Dianne Brimble?

  74. Dot says:

    Hmmm.

    Sympathetic press have reported that the lady in this incident has both remembered the whole thing clearly and cannot remember.

    https://www.amazon.com.au/Pence-Principle-Lessons-Learn-Ford-Kavanaugh/dp/1728751438

    The Pence Principle: Lessons All Men Must Learn from Ford-Kavanaugh

    Mike Pence has a policy. He never is left alone with another woman unless his wife is in attendance. And he doesn’t attend parties where alcohol is being served without his wife. Our Vice President caught a lot of guff for having this somewhat prudish policy. Some even accused him of being a sexist, refusing to be left alone with women. But with the carnage and mayhem that was the Brett Kavanaugh nomination, Vice President Pence’s policy is starting to look very wise, even clairvoyant. And every man in America could stand to learn a lesson or two from our Vice President. Be smart. Buy this handbook and learn to practice “The Pence Principle.” Defend yourself, your career, your family, and your life from the false accusations of women today and into the future.

  75. Dot says:

    It’s why I think spiking of her drink remains a distinct likelihood.

    That can never be proven now you deadset muppet.

    You know who isn’t sexually assaulting anyone now?

    Ricky Slater.

  76. a reader says:

    H B Bear
    #3760856, posted on February 18, 2021 at 7:25 pm
    Two words. Lara Bingle.

    I’ll thank him for Lara. I was a teen, she was hot to look at.

  77. a reader says:

    I wonder if the Senator used the Rhodesia Solution?
    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGJH_-S_MGs&w=560&h=315%5D

  78. Terry Pedersen says:

    It seems to me informative that none of the parties involved so far have disputed what Brittany Higgins says happened to her on the night.

  79. Albatross says:

    Terry Pedersen
    #3761026, posted on February 18, 2021 at 9:49 pm
    […]
    It’s why I think spiking of her drink remains a distinct likelihood. Heard of Dianne Brimble?

    Holy hell! Brittany Higgins was murdered?

  80. Albatross says:

    Terry Pedersen
    #3761044, posted on February 18, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    It seems to me informative that none of the parties involved so far have disputed what Brittany Higgins says happened to her on the night.

    Yes. If a party does not rush to the forum to tell all once a (perhaps) criminal allegation is made, then they can be assumed guilty, and there is no need to burden the taxpayer with the expense of a criminal trial. Summary execution is the appropriate remedy in such cases.

    t. Decertified Conveyancer

  81. Old School Conservative says:

    none of the parties involved so far have disputed what Brittany Higgins says happened

    To the best of my knowledge, one of the parties has not been identified, interviewed, given access to CCTV, or given the opportunity to dispute what Brittany says. No wonder a man has checked himself into hospital.
    However many politicians and reporters have absolutely supported her version of events.

  82. H B Bear says:

    It seems to me informative that none of the parties involved so far have disputed what Brittany Higgins says happened to her on the night.

    Gargooglery MD QC, you won’t get many briefs with that kind of “thinking”.

  83. C.L. says:

    It seems to me informative that none of the parties involved so far have disputed what Brittany Higgins says happened to her on the night.

    You don’t know that.

    That’s why I mentioned a possibe statement made by the accused when he was fired.
    Either way, I agree with Squirrel. Losing interest.
    Looks to me like she’s going to be alright.

    But I still say Reynolds should go or be booted. I’m not circling any wagons for her.

  84. Rex Anger says:

    Gargooglery MD QC, you won’t get many briefs with that kind of “thinking”.

    Plenty of Contempt of Court charges, though… 😉

  85. H B Bear says:

    It’s why I think spiking of her drink remains a distinct likelihood. Heard of Dianne Brimble?

    Groogs, heard of Dennis Denuto? Idiot.

  86. H B Bear says:

    But I still say Reynolds should go or be booted. I’m not circling any wagons for her.

    Lieborals can’t afford to lose any more women. She won’t be going anywhere, although it doesn’t take much to go under the ScoMo bus. Ask Christine Holgate.

  87. Peter S says:

    Rafiki,

    My point exactly. Stop gossiping.

  88. I don’t know how to put up a YouTube link here, we’ve probably all seen it,Yes Minister:The Rhodesia solution

  89. Albatross says:

    Peter S
    #3761079, posted on February 18, 2021 at 11:41 pm
    Rafiki,

    My point exactly. Stop gossiping.

    This. There’s nothing “conservative” about gossiping like a bunch of bored housewives when lefties tell you to, and ignoring the institutions we have to resolve criminal allegations.

  90. John Comnenus says:

    The hypocrisy of the situation is two fold, leave aside whether the incident constituted alleged rape or not, that is a matter for the police. I doubt the parliamentary security service has police and investigative powers over alleged serious crimes.

    The issue that every Australian can see is that these moral cowards and pious busy bodies write workplace laws that don’t seem to apply to them. If two drunk employees came into my workplace in the middle of the night for sex (consensual or not) they would be investigated and disciplined. The workplace is provided for the purpose of work, work related activities and reasonable recreation during work hours. Every employer and employee knows that they would have to investigate and act on an incident of this nature if it happened in their workplace. Failure to act would leave them exposed to all sorts of potential problems from fair work, workplace health and safety and potential gender equity issues.

    Secondly my understanding of the public service code of conduct, which may be wrong, but my understanding is that matters of sexual assault and sexual harassment must be investigated if there is a complaint, formal or informal. Des can correct me on this, but that certainly seems to be the policy in a number of Departments. So why was this not investigated properly at the outset. This could have started as an administrative investigation.

    What an embarrassing moral vacuum we have as a Prime Minister. I find it impossible to believe he was unaware of this and not briefed, and apparently his wife had to tell him about how serious rape is. Why didn’t SCOMO do the right thing right up front? I will answer my own question, because he is a moral poseur and a complete coward devoid of any principles that aren’t popular at the time he needs them. And as I commented yesterday Reynolds is leading the cultural reform of the ADF. These people are hypocrites and total scum. And the ALP is just as bad if not worse. Believe all women unless they make a complaint against Bill Shorten…

    The Parliament holds us in utter contempt by making laws they apply to us but don’t apply to themselves.

  91. notafan says:

    John

    One party was dismissed over the unauthorised entry. The other appears to have refused to go forward with a complaint, until now.

  92. JohnJJJ says:

    Dot
    #3761028, posted on February 18, 2021 at 9:50 pm
    Vice President Pence’s policy is starting to look very wise, even clairvoyant. And every man in America could stand to learn a lesson or two from our Vice President

    Yep, another step toward the Sharia. Hilali would be smiling.

  93. John Comnenus says:

    Thanks notafan

  94. Cassie of Sydney says:

    “John Comnenus
    #3761169, posted on February 19, 2021 at 8:10 am”

    Great comment John.

  95. Terry Pedersen says:

    The senior Liberal staffer/high-flier/rising star deleted all of his social media accounts before seeking refuge in a psychiatric (but not self harming) admission to Royal North Shore Hospital. Despite those efforts to hide, his name and photo are likely to be all over the news media very soon.

  96. Des Deskperson says:

    ‘Secondly my understanding of the public service code of conduct, which may be wrong, but my understanding is that matters of sexual assault and sexual harassment must be investigated if there is a complaint, formal or informal. ‘

    Not explicitly, John, but the Code and the APS Values do require, by law, APS employees at all levels to establish and maintain a safe and respectful workplace and to uphold an obey all laws. Agencies, therefore, are under a strong obligation to take all allegations of sexual assault seriously and I understand that many do have a specific requirement to investigate all claims in a timely manner.

    The Parliamentary Services Act, that covers all Parliamentary employees, has similar provisions that entail similar obligations. MOPS Act staffers, however are employed under separate legislation, and while there’s a somewhat wishy-washy set of standards of behaviour that apply to them, I don’t believe that the Parliamentary Departments can enforce them because it is the Minister, not the Departments, who is the employer of MOPS staff. Ministers have resisted any move to regulate the enforcement of the MOPS staff standards, so that they work and behave subject to the former’s whims and patronage.

  97. Cassie of Sydney says:

    “Terry Pedersen
    #3761250, posted on February 19, 2021 at 9:57 am
    The senior Liberal staffer/high-flier/rising star deleted all of his social media accounts before seeking refuge in a psychiatric (but not self harming) admission to Royal North Shore Hospital. Despite those efforts to hide, his name and photo are likely to be all over the news media very soon.”

    Oh look…skin suit collector relishing the thought. Go back to your basement creep.

  98. John Brumbke says:

    “Unauthorised entry”. Oh dear.

  99. Cassie of Sydney says:

    “JohnJJJ
    #3761204, posted on February 19, 2021 at 8:58 am
    Dot
    #3761028, posted on February 18, 2021 at 9:50 pm
    Vice President Pence’s policy is starting to look very wise, even clairvoyant. And every man in America could stand to learn a lesson or two from our Vice President

    Yep, another step toward the Sharia. Hilali would be smiling.”

    Indeed…and it’s a sad indictment of today’s society and the impact of third wave feminism. Pence is right to insist on not being alone with a woman apart from his wife because the blunt truth is that, given our toxic society and “believe all women” bullshit, men need to be very, very careful.

  100. Andre Lewis says:

    Two young drunken staffers went into a secure parliamentary office to have sex and got caught when the guards reported it. The male was sacked for this and the young woman would have suffered the same fate except she told her boss that she was taken there against her will and raped. This elicited the expected sympathy and saved her job (although she had to move to another office) and she was counselled to pursue it with police. She declined as did not want publicity. Forward two years after any evidence is long gone and now she wants to get police involved and has no problems with as much publicity as the press and tv can muster as long as it drags in Coalition ministers and the PM.
    All perfectly normal.

  101. John Comnenus says:

    Does,

    Thanks for the clarification re the codes of conduct. It is convenient how the Ministers exempt themselves from scrutiny over behaviour they require of every one else. If the Minister is the employer then presumably the male involved could bring either a discrimination case against the Minister or even a WHS case against the Minister as the employer. After all the employer has handled the case has mismanaged it so badly he is in a mental health ward.

    The incident should have been handled with a proper a proper and thorough administrative investigation as a minimum and as the starting point. If in the course of the investigation he female made rape or assault allegations the matter would be handed over to the police to investigate and the male would have all the normal protections of the law. If the female didn’t make assault or rape allegations then both the male and female should be disciplined equally.

    The failure to conduct a proper investigation has now led to the circumstances where there are rape / assault allegations, no charges pressed, no police investigation conducted in a timely manner, the male disciplined but not the female and the male in a mental health ward. All because the hypocrites tried to sweep it under the carpet.

    If only one person involved in this whole sordid chain of events had the moral courage to act properly. As Jo right at the top of the thread, these people are as far from honourable as one can get.

  102. John Comnenus says:

    Des,

    Thanks for the clarification re the code of conduct. It is convenient how the Ministers exempt themselves from scrutiny over behaviour they require of every one else. If the Minister is the employer then presumably the male involved could bring either a discrimination case against the Minister or even a WHS case against the Minister as the employer. After all the employer has handled the case has mismanaged it so badly he is in a mental health ward.

    The incident should have been handled with a proper a proper and thorough administrative investigation as a minimum and as the starting point. If in the course of the investigation he female made rape or assault allegations the matter would be handed over to the police to investigate and the male would have all the normal protections of the law. If the female didn’t make assault or rape allegations then both the male and female should be disciplined equally.

    The failure to conduct a proper investigation has now led to the circumstances where there are rape / assault allegations, no charges pressed, no police investigation conducted in a timely manner, the male disciplined but not the female and the male in a mental health ward. All because the hypocrites tried to sweep it under the carpet.

    If only one person involved in this whole sordid chain of events had the moral courage to act properly. As Jo right at the top of the thread, these people are as far from honourable as one can get.

  103. Oswald says:

    Parliament House is a world of its own. It even has its own McDonald’s and indoor swimming pool. Staff see themselves as separate from the public aervice ‘out there’.

  104. The Sheriff says:

    If you think federal parliament is bad, state parliaments are even worse.

    Looking at the characters involved reveals how many low quality, low calibre individuals are disturbingly close to the levers of power in this country.

  105. Des Deskperson says:

    ‘Parliament House is a world of its own.’

    It also maintains in house services that other agencies – where they needed them – have outsourced decades ago. The Parliamentary Services EA not only includes clerical and administrative staff and management, but also plumbers, electricians, carpenters, metal workers, landscapers, caterers, and fabric carers. Maintaining these services in house must be very expensive but hey, if a politician’s dunny is backed up, he/she doesn’t want to wait for some outsider to be called in.

    Despite this, Parliament House has been poorly maintained and I understand that serious structural problems are now emerging.

    Working closely with politicians leads to all sorts of corruption. In the nineties I had a woman in my branch of an APS agency who had fled one of the Parliamentary Departments because her supervisor was intolerable: lazy, incompetent, a bully and a blame shifter. Everyone knew about it, but she was protected because she was being tupped by a senior Labor politician – I wont name him – though I think he has ‘passed over ‘ – but he was keen cyclist. He was repulsive but so was she.

    This sort of thing is reputedly endemic in APH, employees ingratiating themselves in various way with politicians and therefore being protected from any efforts at discipline and/or performance management. These people also reportedly undermine any attempts at broader management reforms that might require them to work harder.

  106. Wally says:

    The security breach was reported (not the rape), the man was sacked for the breach. Game over until she went public, up until then her privacy was quite properly protected. Why hasn’t the man been named? Why aren’t charges being brought? Is the case so weak?

    It seems drunken frolics are not unusual after hours in Federal offices by the reaction of the guards.

  107. Terry Pedersen says:

    the man was sacked

    Allowed to resign. And continue his political affiliations.

    Why hasn’t the man been named? Why aren’t charges being brought?

    The (alleged) [email protected] (not really a man) will be named and charged, formally, very soon. Brittany Higgins has announced this afternoon that she is making a formal police complaint.

    Looks to me like she’s going to be alright.

    Probably not what you meant, but in view of this afternoon’s development, it seems she is going to be alright. I doubt that the same can be said of the now reclusive former senior Liberal staffer/high-flier/rising star.

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