Barnaby Joyce, it seems, may be about to escape lasting consequences in relation to his alleged actions in 2016 toward Catherine Marriott, who has accused him of sexual harassment. He is widely expected to replace Michael McCormack as Nationals leader, even if that does not occur this week, despite the failure of the Nationals Party administration to resolve Marriott's complaint in the face of Joyce's vigorous denial of the allegations. While most media coverage of the Nationals' leadership issue noted Joyce had been the subject of a complaint, few journalists seemed to think the unresolved status of the complaint (the party was unable to make a determination after an eight-month investigation) was in any way an impediment to his return to the deputy prime ministership.

If that occurs, the only person who will have suffered consequences is Marriott, who was outed by the Nationals despite her desire for privacy, quite apart from her personal distress that she says was caused by Joyce's alleged actions. The outing of Marriott was a perfect demonstration of the weird logic of the claim that women invent allegations of sexual misconduct against powerful men for their own benefit; rarely is the process of raising allegations anything other than deeply hurtful to women.