Well, Jamie, shit happens

2 Jan



Following the post yesterday on the Jamie Briggs sacking:

The Australian today has published details of the complainant in the Jamie Briggs’ alleged sexual harassment scandal that allow the woman to be identified, while simultaneously trumpeting that it is withholding her name in order to protect her privacy.

This is one of the many reasons women hesitate to report sexual harassment and assault, especially when the alleged perpetrator is a public figure.

The Australian also reports that some MPs are greatly unsettled by the decision to sack Briggs because of alleged sexual harassment, as it sets the ministerial bar “impossibly high.” Respecting women, much?

Just don’t touch us without permission, how’s that for starters? Can you manage that? Because if you can’t be in charge of yourself, you shouldn’t be in charge of the country.

It’s worth repeating that Briggs was the subject of two LNP inquiries into the behaviour that provoked the complaint lodged against him. In the first instance, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet engaged an independent official to investigate the matter. It was subsequently referred to the cabinet’s governance sub-committee, members of whom included Warren Truss, George Brandis, Julie Bishop, Peter Dutton, Scott Morrison, Michaelia Cash and Arthur Sinodinos. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described the allegations as “a serious matter.”  The decision of the subcommittee was that Briggs had to go.

If even that bunch of charlatans couldn’t find a way to get Briggs out of it, it must have been serious.

It’s simple to avoid the situation Briggs created for himself, but apparently it isn’t easy. There are at least two obvious considerations. The first might be: if you are in a relationship that is committed to monogamy, don’t make sexual advances to other people. The second might be, if you are in a position of power, do not make sexual advances to a subordinate. The third might be: if you disregard the first two recommendations fasten your seatbelt, because you may well have just blown your life, the lives of your spouse, your children and the individual you harassed, to bits.

The problem with men such as Briggs is that they apparently don’t believe these very human rules apply to them. Perhaps the most useful thing Briggs has achieved in his career thus far is to demonstrate, albeit it entirely unwillingly, that these rules do apply, even to LNP ministers, and that his peers have enforced them against him.

For Briggs’ “conga line of apologists” , as Paula Matthewson puts it, including The Australian, to attempt to discredit the complainant despite the outcome of his peer review, is, while despicable, sadly unsurprising given the prevalent attitude towards women who complain about the unacceptable behaviour of men.

The sub-committee who decided Briggs must go likely had more than one agenda, nevertheless, it is one small step towards justice for women who take a stand against harassment in the workplace. I can only hope this is not undone by the rabid attentions of a media hellbent on protecting out-dated male privilege and presumption of entitlement, regardless of the vile behaviours this engenders.

Perhaps we can offer to Jamie the consoling words his pal Tony Abbott offered to those he rendered unemployed during his brief term as a failed Prime Minister: see this as a liberation, mate, an opportunity to learn something entirely new.

In the meantime, Jamie’s struck another blow at the supposedly monolithic sanctity of heterosexual marriage, demonstrating yet again that its biggest threat isn’t from anyone in the LGBTI community who wants equal access to the institution, but from those already ensconced who just can’t seem to honour their commitments.

For an excellent analysis of the Briggs affair and how to recognise and set sexual boundaries in the workplace, see here, by Kate Galloway

For interesting insight into how the Press Gallery handles these issues, go to Andrew Elder.

















34 Responses to “Well, Jamie, shit happens”

  1. diannaart January 2, 2016 at 5:11 pm #

    Shit happens, Jamie and this will stick….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. doug quixote January 2, 2016 at 6:23 pm #

    Shock! Horror!

    Even the Looters Party have rules!

    Poor Jamie has issues, it seems. The decision was that he has to go off and resolve them himself.

    He is still a member of parliament getting $200k per year; just not a minister.

    BTW pity poor Tony Abbott, suffering on a similar salary, Who will pay his mortgage??

    (PS where’s ‘Mr Green’ when you want him?)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 8 Degrees of Latitude January 2, 2016 at 7:02 pm #

    Briggs was an idiot. That’s not a condition restricted to the male sex, of course, and neither is opportunistic sexual adventure, whether below or beyond the piercing eyes flirtation level. But you’re right. Ministers, whether in crowded bars or otherwise, should avoid playing up, or attempting to do so, when on official business.

    Liked by 1 person

    • zerograv1 January 2, 2016 at 10:39 pm #

      Agree, although I think its a bit of a stretch to consider any politician to be in high office since they dont seem to be controlling anything at present eg out of control drug, crime rates, sell off of the country, debt levels, homelessness, decline in education funding etc.

      The ironic thing about all this is that in the early days of feminism the arched eyebrow approach and tone of Jen’s article is getting dangerously close to the original enemy of feminism – the conservative derogatory commenting of those considered beneath them reeks of holier than though liberalism much more than anything humanistic . Jen is sounding a lot like the haughty visiting elder checking the mantelpiece whitegloved for dust…If what was reported was the “lite” version of what actually happened and things were in fact far more serious then Briggs deserves all he gets, if on the other hand the complainant went all “dont touch me Im a princess”, ie storm in a teacup liberal lady eliteism then what the hell was she doing in that particular place in the first place? Doesnt add up at all does it? We will probably never know since media spins it whichever way plays out best politically – he may have been a sacrificial lamb and they wanted to eject him for other unrelated political reasons – could have been a complete setup and they invented a trumped up excuse to give him the boot – it is politics after all ….I’d rather refrain from jumping to any conclusions on this one. An unwanted mis-directed kiss on the cheek doesnt sound like much to me.


      • 8 Degrees of Latitude January 3, 2016 at 3:41 am #

        Well we don’t know, officially anyway, what the quantum of the alleged offence was, so best not to judge on that score. I agree the woman concerned was herself ill-advised: a junior consular officer is best not taking part in ministerial after-hours dining and wining anyway. But that’s not the issue. We might all agree that flirtation with intent is a commonplace (something of which even junior consular officers, of either gender, should surely be aware) but peck on the cheek or whatever, it’s the (now former) minister who bears responsibility for behaviour that in other circumstances may not have been a breach of anything other than morality as perceived by others.

        Liked by 1 person

        • zerograv1 January 3, 2016 at 5:02 am #

          My simple observation, if this kind of behaviour is deemed illegal its a wonder we have any birth rate at all (given the well known fact that about half of relationships start from the workplace)!! Bit ridiculous the whole thing. Sure no one wants to be hit on, especially by a boss but talk about 1st world problems! Next time anyone visit’s Canberra or especially Liberal Party HQ watch out for toys flying out of prams


        • Jennifer Wilson January 3, 2016 at 7:00 am #

          The woman made a complaint. It was deemed series enough by two LNP inquiries to give Briggs his marching orders from his ministry. Yet still people are debating whether or not the woman was in the wrong.


          Liked by 1 person

          • paul walter January 3, 2016 at 6:38 pm #

            Jennifer, it is because we do not know exactly what happened. We are not sure if she over reacted or whether he was actually trying to coerce her into a stuation dtetrimental to her rather than just flirting, a bit drunk and clumsy.

            And its not like any real crime was committed, even if it did show up as an example of the elitist mentality that can at extremes allow for the bombing of an Afghani village or rape in jail in Latin America, say and it does raise questions about the internal workings of society and culture.


      • Jennifer Wilson January 3, 2016 at 6:58 am #

        Gawd, zerograv, two LNP investigations decided Briggs acted badly enough to be kicked out of his portfolio.

        And a woman isn’t being a “princess” if she doesn’t want some bloke to touch her FFS.

        And for someone who doesn’t want to jump to any conclusions, you certainly jump to a few in this post.

        Liked by 1 person

      • diannaart January 3, 2016 at 11:28 am #

        “storm in a teacup liberal lady eliteism then what the hell was she doing in that particular place in the first place”

        I dunno, maybe she was there to have a quiet drink with a colleague, or she had been requested to accompany the Minister by her boss, or she just wanted to have a drink while waiting for friends and chatting to minister….

        What she did not choose was to be physically groped by some bloke….- frankly this behaviour is not acceptable whether the ‘bloke’ is a federal minister or a brickie’s labourer.

        Grow Up – women have a right to be wherever they choose – WTF was the Minister thinking?????

        Liked by 2 people

  4. thelionthatroared January 2, 2016 at 10:22 pm #

    Reblogged this on From A Whisper To A Roar.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. paul walter January 3, 2016 at 6:49 pm #

    Jennifer, people are not sure as to intentions. He might have just been drunk and goofing off, or he may have been trying to coerce the woman. Since no actual harm has been done by Briggs apart from to himself, there is a point beyond which people no onger can say for certain whether Briggs was being a goose or actually was attempting to coerce sex and that is a lot of difference.

    There is no bloodied corpse, it may be a manifestation of elitist traits that lead to war crimes in Iraq, say, though. But short of an actual crime being committed, it can only go so far.


    • Jennifer Wilson January 3, 2016 at 10:33 pm #

      You know I can’t agree with you on this, PW.


    • doug quixote January 3, 2016 at 10:54 pm #

      I am surprised at your take on this, Paul. This entire set of attitudes and behaviours is what is at issue.


      • paul walter January 4, 2016 at 8:35 am #

        That is exactly the point I am concurring with both Wilson and Corry on, that is this manifestion of Adelaide’s class system on display, coming together with blatant hard right conservative views disrupting neolib Turnbull and the whole set of stories are an unfolding smorgasboard over Xmass and new year.

        Its like Abbott goofing off this time last year.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. paul walter January 3, 2016 at 11:14 pm #

    You will note I put up two comments basically the same..the apparatus wasn’t working and I thought there was a foul up. OK, you cant agree with me. Maybe we just are coming from different trajectories and both views form a mosaic that offers up a more complete picture previously unavailable. I mean, you see Clinton Lewinsky in diametrically opposed ways to me also, I cant see how Clinton is blamed rather than Starr and that monster Linda Tripp, if it comes to the violation of Lewinsky’s privacy and the rest was just stuff grown ups and humans do sometimes.

    Can you say- without hyperbole- why you don’t agree with me?

    Is it because I didnt applaud Briggs?

    How many raped, dismembered corpses lay about the scene after Briggs’ sadistic and maniacal rampage, btw?

    Despite people like me basically agreeing with you but using more careful language because of what we know or don’t know of the incident, we seem condemned as misogynist brutes operating off a sly conspiracy against women.

    I know many feminists have unhappy tales to tell as to their own histories with men and I’m sorry some of you have been hurt.

    I would have wished no harm on you all and am glad I am not a rapist, but I despair at feminism and its inability or refusal to engage with men as fellow travellers rather than idiot level bogy people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson January 4, 2016 at 5:25 am #

      PW I’ve had to take to moderating comments before they appear here because of the abuse, threats of rape, and various anonymous arseholes telling me they know where I live & they’ll be round later to stick their dicks in my mouth to shut me up. That’s why it seems different.

      That I’ve had to do this is an example of the attitudes and behaviours DQ refers to above.

      I’ll have to address the rest of your post in a while, but I certainly don’t condemn you as a misogynist brute operating a sly conspiracy.

      Over to you, DQ.


      • paul walter January 4, 2016 at 8:43 am #

        Notice your conversation elsewhere.

        You are very right to nail DQ on this..he is clearly embarking upon a dupllcitous subterafuge concerning the obscurement of certain traits that should be on clear display.

        Jennifer Wilson, you are one ofr many blog site people who are forced to the measures you mention. Others will recall various locations in the past

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson January 4, 2016 at 12:16 pm #

          I know, but I like it that Sheep didn’t have to censor ppl. Now we’ve lost our innocence…


      • doug quixote January 4, 2016 at 9:51 am #

        Talk is cheap, Jennifer. Pay no heed yourself to the anonymous threats; but you could forward them on to the Australian Federal Police, who seem to take a dim view of threats like those.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson January 4, 2016 at 12:14 pm #

          Thanks, DQ, I was sort of expecting it there seem to be an awful lot of unevolved males out there


  7. Christine Says Hi January 4, 2016 at 11:12 am #

    Don’t read the comments they say, and yet I do, and find myself once again aghast. There are men here arguing that ‘nothing actually happened’ and that ‘no-one was hurt except Briggs’ and we can’t be sure of ‘his intentions’. Seriously? I suppose if I say that those commenters might not like being touched in such a way that you need to draw it to the attention of someone’s minder for protection, they’ll guffaw around their cigars and say leeringly ‘I’d love it if some woman groped me’. I feel like I’ve accidentally wandered into the WC Fields room.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Tara Eaton July 18, 2022 at 2:28 am #

    Hii nice reading your blog



  1. Let me pierce you with my eyes… | No Place For Sheep - January 4, 2016

    […] information we’ve been given. Dutton’s text was meant for Jamie Briggs, who lost his ministerial portfolio only hours earlier after allegedly sexually harassing a subordinate in a crowded bar after a long […]


  2. Let me pierce you with my eyes… – WRITTEN BY NO PLACE FOR SHEEP | winstonclose - January 4, 2016

    […] on the information we’ve been given. Dutton’s text was meant for Jamie Briggs, who lost his ministerial portfolio only hours earlier after allegedly sexually harassing a subordinate in a crowded bar after a long […]


  3. By a man for men: repeat after me, blokes | No Place For Sheep - January 6, 2016

    […] to Hong Kong. There have been at least two brilliant expose’s of this event from Kate Galloway and Jennifer Wilson on this blog, for those interested in reading the women’s […]


  4. By a man for men: repeat after me, blokes – Guest post by Dr Stewart Hase ( NO PLACE FOR SHEEP ) | winstonclose - January 6, 2016

    […] to Hong Kong. There have been at least two brilliant exposes of this event from Kate Galloway and Jennifer Wilson on this blog, for those interested in reading the women’s […]


  5. Briggs, Pearce and power | No Place For Sheep - January 29, 2016

    […] of footballer and Roosters’ vice-captain Mitchell Pearce: there was no dog involved in the politician’s folly, for […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: