Toeing the line In times of crisis, we turn to those who lead and represent us. And so, in the midst of numerous allegations of sexual violence, bullying, sexism and rape, the number of elected Coalition women calling out the crisis in Parliament is… zero.
Minister for Women Marise Payne was the only female cabinet minister to respond to Crikey‘s request for comment, with her media team pointing to previous comments Payne has made. Payne supports Morrison’s stance, saying the matter was up to the police and there shouldn’t be an independent inquiry to investigate Porter.
Employment Minister and acting Attorney-General Michaelia Cash and Social Services Minister Anne Ruston have previously said they supported an inquiry by sex discrimination commissioner Kate Jenkins into workplace culture, but not an inquiry into the rape allegations against Porter.
Jenkins didn’t immediately comment on the allegations swirling in Parliament but reappeared late last week when it was announced she was going to head the workplace inquiry.
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The Federal Women’s Committee of the Liberal Party of Australia is generally pretty vocal on gender issues. This time, it seems they’ve decided discretion is key. President Robyn Nolan declined to respond to Crikey’s questions.
A taxonomy of takes (part two) Earlier this week we catalogued the inevitable deluge of takes released by Harry and Meghan sitting down with Oprah. The Australian‘s Greg Sheridan took an extra day with his, and boy was it worth the wait. As far as Sheridan is concerned, the interview is tantamount to terrorism, a “toxic assault on the West“.
Sheridan starts out with a defensible point: that progressive hero worship for these two crazy kids with nothing but a dream, an inherited fortune and highly exploitable fame might be a bit much. Then things take a turn: “But there would hardly be a society anywhere in the world less racist than contemporary Britain.”
“Celebrity dynamics now dominate Western culture, and increasingly Western politics, in new and increasingly destructive ways. Harry and Meghan deployed the two most lethal weapons of personal testimony — mental health and race.”
The result is potentially cataclysmic, he writes.
“Harry and Meghan, against all expectations, have actually done something politically significant, and wholly destructive: they’ve helped turn celebrity culture against the Western project.”
Eats, shoots and leaves It’s always a good idea to read a headline before clicking publish. For example, the following, which casts some pretty serious aspersion on where the Alfred Hospital gets its food from:
Greg Hunt had a particularly rough time in the media yesterday. The chyron Sunrise used to announce his admission to hospital made him sound less like a health minister and more like a DJ:
Disassembled cabinet It’s hard to keep up with who is actually in the cabinet right now. Missing ministers Linda Reynolds, Christian Porter and Greg Hunt have now been joined by Dan Tehan, who unexpectedly bailed on Q+A this week.
Any minister wanting to lay low may wish to talk to their colleagues in the outer ministry. David Coleman and Melissa Price are true Milford graduates, with a history of navigating the most toxic portfolios while being seen about as much as Salman Rushdie in the 1990s.
IR you serious? Steve Knott, CEO of mining resources representative group AMMA, had an interesting observation yesterday. Responding to calls from the crossbench for greater arbitration powers for the Fair Work Commission (FWC), Knott argued that business will see this as a hostile environment because “most FWC members have never run a business”.
This is palpable nonsense. Or at the very least, it’s disingenuous. In the last seven years, the Coalition has relentlessly and transparently stacked the FWC with business figures.
The last six appointments all came from business interests… including Amanda Mansini, who counts AMMA among her former employers.