This is an interesting development:
A former Coalition staffer who was sacked for masturbating on the desk of a female MP has made a report to police alleging he was the victim of revenge porn.
It was leaked by a man the former Morrison staffer met on gay dating app Grindr nearly a decade ago. Both were involved in sex acts in parliament.
Let’s be clear – I have zero sympathy for the former staffer who was sacked. I cannot imagine why or how anyone could ever defend his behaviour.
But it does seem to me that he is the victim of a crime.
What isn’t clear to me, however, is the extent to which whistle-blowers are protected in this situation. Generally whistle-blowers have extensive protection. But what about this situation?
Does it matter that the whistle-blower reported the incident to the media and not to an appropriate person at the Parliament?
The whistleblower who came to me with images and video of the said staffer – who was the most senior adviser to the Liberal Whip in charge of party discipline ironically – always made it clear he was revealing what had gone on because enough was enough when it came to poor conduct in the nation’s capital.
“Tom’s” (as we called him in the story) willingness to speak out has made him a change agent for good. Ensuring cultural change in parliament. Not that Liberal MP Warren Entsch sees it that way. Thankfully, many of his colleagues do. Including the Prime Minister.
There is a lot to be said for that argument too. But I remain uncomfortable with concluding that it is okay to commit a crime to ensure ‘cultural change in parliament’. That becomes a perfect defence against treason.
Could the whistle-blower have revealed his information without committing a crime? I suspect he could have – I suspect there are other avenues that he could have pursued that did not involve revealing his information to the media in the first instance.