Eric Abetz
Senator Eric Abetz (Image: AAP)

Aid for Abetz The brewing storm around allegations that Tasmanian senator Eric Abetz said Brittany Higgins was “so disgustingly drunk" on the night she was allegedly raped in Parliament that "[she] would sleep with anybody” should reveal a few things. (Abetz denies he made the comments.)

First, it provides extra evidence that despite his rhetoric, Prime Minster Scott Morrison's kneejerk response to these situations is to side with the bloke (although in Abetz's case it did land as a little equivocal, with Morrison simply stressing that Abetz denies the claims and "will continue to serve in the roles that he now serves within the Senate").

It will also reveal the balance of power in Tasmania Liberals. The allegations were made under parliamentary privilege by Tasmanian state Liberal-turned-independent Sue Hickey, a match tossed over her shoulder two days after the party told her she wasn't going to be endorsed in the next election.