Rape, masturbation and lewd acts are all part of Parliament House under Morrison: FLASHBACK 2021

After the disappointing conclusion of the Bruce Lehrmann trial, it is important to remember the toxic culture developed within the walls of the House of Parliament by the Morrison government.

In this 2021 article, Dr. Jennifer Wilson explored the breeding ground of assault and harassment that led to the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins and possibly others.

*CONTENT WARNING: This article is about rape and sexual abuse

IT IS GETTING MORE DIFFICULT to keep up with the deluge of misinformation, disinformation, obfuscation, evasion, denial and outspoken lies emanating every day from the Morrison administration and its facilitators.

On Monday morning, during Senate Estimates, Australian Federal Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw was asked by Senator Kristina Keneally if he had asked Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PMO) Secretary Phil Gaetjens to “postpone, pause or change” his investigation into the PMO into who knew about the alleged rape of media consultant Brittany Higgins by a senior male associate, in March 2019.

Kershaw responded with great determination “No”.

At the same time, Gaetjens informed the senators in another chamber that, on March 9, 2021, on the strong advice of Commissioner Kershaw, he had suspended his investigation into who had knowledge of the alleged 2019 rape.

On Monday afternoon, Kershaw released a media statement claiming that he had, in fact, strongly advised Gaetjens to finalize the interviews he conducted on the matter of the alleged rape. This contradicted Kershaw’s own denial earlier in the day.

Last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison declined to answer questions about the Gaetjens investigation, saying the secretary would answer Monday in the Senate estimates. However, Morrison was already fully aware that the investigation had been shut down on March 9 and that Gaetjens would refuse to comment on estimates.

Dirty little secrets revealed in Higgins' case against Lehrmann

Morrison has not informed Parliament of the suspension of the inquiry. The Prime Minister conducted his business in the House of Representatives as if the investigation was ongoing.

This led opposition leader Anthony Albanese to accuse Morrison of deceiving Parliament – ​​an accusation Morrison vehemently denied.

This is just one small example of the deliberate confusion and obfuscation deliberately used by the Morrison government to hinder the search for the truth in the alleged rape case.

Morrison’s government appropriates all the resources at its disposal – and there are many – to build a fortress around itself, specially designed to protect it from unwelcome scrutiny. The government is better at this than anything else. Because it has to be. It seems unlikely that Morrison’s government will stand scrutiny. The government seems permanently under siege and hastens to regroup the protection of its fortress after each new outcry.

Democracy depends for its success on trust, especially trust that the checks and balances in the system will be used as checks and balances, rather than co-opted and exploited as a means of protecting a self-serving government from scrutiny and accountability.

Morrison seems to have no boundaries that could curb his pursuit of – and determination to – retain power. A leader without borders allows those he leads to abandon the notion of borders, not only his political colleagues but also the officials and staff who work for them.

Someone changed Commissioner Kershaw’s company “No”just a few hours after he made that statement.

Morrison's misogyny continues despite apologies

Someone decided that Gaetjen’s research should be stopped and thus postponed that research indefinitely.

Someone, or several people, have now made sure the fort is safe and no one will find out who in the PMO knew about Ms Higgins’s alleged rape – especially whether or not the Prime Minister did.

There seems to be no interest or concern in all this deception for a woman allegedly raped in Parliament House, just a stone’s throw from the Prime Minister’s office. In the grand political game, women are generally irrelevant except when they can be used.

Nor is there the slightest concern that their machinations are obvious. It doesn’t matter that we can see what they do, how they do it and why. They live in a world of magical thinking in which they are inviolable.

Also on Monday, we heard allegations of a Liberal male staffer masturbating on a female MP’s desk and recording his performance for friends. We heard of MPs buying sex and the exchange taking place in a special room in the House meant for prayer. We heard of sexual acts the reporter declared unfit to broadcast carried out in Parliament House by Liberal staffers.

Parliament House is a cesspool. In what other workplace (other than the premises of sexual service providers) is it acceptable for men to have, buy, or take sex? In what other workplace is it acceptable for men to ignore the most basic boundaries?

Morrison's Sexual Harassment Dog Action Trolls Women

The depravity of the Morrison administration – and those who work for it – is extremely alarming. There are no limits. There is no accountability.

When Morrison refuses to be held accountable, everyone else is free to do the same. A world in which no one is responsible is a corrupt world. Morrison bears full responsibility for a workplace where male liberal staffers feel free to express their depravity in lewd sexual acts.

It is remarkable that a leader with such fervent religiosity as Morrison claims oversees a workplace particularly notable for its corruption and depravity and its destructive disregard for women.

How many women were raped in the parliament building? Because given the atmosphere, it’s likely there’s more than one. The rape, assault and sexual harassment of women in this workplace is made possible by the extraordinary protections put in place for perpetrators. This protection is instituted at the very highest level – the Prime Minister’s Office – and possibly with the knowledge of the Prime Minister himself.

To speak to someone about sexual assault, call the 1800 Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online.

Dr. Jennifer Wilson is an IA columnist, psychotherapist, and academic. You can follow Jennifer on Twitter @NoPlaceForSheep.

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