(Image: Tom Red/Private Media)

Fish rots from the head Much has been made of the vaguely threatening, misremembered John Howardism that Prime Minister Scott Morrison called upon in reacting to yesterday’s Women’s March4Justice, reminding Parliament that “not far from here, such marches, even now, are being met with bullets, but not here in this country, Mr Speaker”.

Tone deaf was the apparent line of the day, and other members of Morrison’s party leapt to take it up.

Minister for Women Marise Payne started off by snubbing the march, telling organisers she would receive their petition “via correspondence” rather than in person. She went on tell the Senate she had “scanned” Brittany Higgins’ speech from the event.

Then Senator Hollie Hughes responded to the organisers’ determination that any meeting with Morrison not be behind closed doors with the following tweet: “So not really about achieving anything? Again we will see this issue turn political, so no longer for all women but just those with the same political perspective. I’ll be using my voice inside the Parliament- somewhere I worked pretty hard to be!”

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She is still at it this morning.

A non event for a non entity Victorian Liberal “leader” (and man you’re about to Google) Michael O’Brien this morning survived a leadership challenge (mounted by Brad Battin, man who will fail to go down in history as the politician who inspired his colleagues less than Michael O’Brien). It is only the latest in the dispiriting series of non-events that has characterised O’Brien’s time “in charge”.

In fact, the whole thing was decided months ago. There was a series of texts in August plotting against O’Brien leaked to the press so that “senior Liberals” could deny a plan was afoot. Then months later another “senior Victorian Liberal figure” told The Australian that O’Brien would be rolled before the next state election.

By their estimate, the challenge wasn’t coming until the middle of 2022. The utter wipeout in WA appears to have sped the process up a little. But, of course, the failed attempt at the leadership is all part of the public destabilisation process — just ask Julia Gillard. One figures it’s a matter of time.

On your Marks Continuing her masthead’s proud tradition of advocating for those in power, Sharri Markson has delivered a stirring and fairly unequivocal defence of Christian Porter, saying the grouping of the allegations against the attorney-general with yesterday’s March4Justice is “ironic, for it is he who is the victim of a lack of justice”.

Anyone missing the subtleties of the piece and her views might want to have a gander at Markson’s Instagram where she praises the “loves of [her] life” who (take THIS misandrists) “happen to be boys”.

She goes on: “We want equality, not a world where males are the enemy, are never believed simply because of their gender and can lose their entire career over a false allegation”.

A note on WA Yesterday we looked at the Western Australia’s Liberal Party, who can now all arrive at work on the same tandem bike. A WA tipster got in contact to point out we had failed to give credit where it was due:

“We must be mindful of the achievements of the Liberal Party in this election. They’ve actually reached gender parity in representation. Good on them.”