Morrison attempts to derail rape trial under guise of apology

12 Feb

Yet again many of us are asking ourselves, is Prime Minister Scott Morrison thoroughly ill-intentioned, or merely driven by blindly arrogant stupidity and incompetence?  

That we are forced to ask this question almost daily is in itself a serious indictment of the man, regardless of the answer. 

Of course, he could quite easily be both. 

Many of us who heard Morrison’s apology to Brittany Higgins in Parliament earlier this week were alarmed when he named the alleged victim of an alleged rape which is due to go to trial in June. 

The PM’s apology has been described by a leading defence barrister as without foundation, as the allegations have not yet been tested. There is now considerable doubt that, as a consequence of Morrison’s apology, a jury can be struck in the ACT where the trial is due to be held. 

Scott Morrison has interfered with the progress of a criminal trial while ostensibly apologising to the alleged victim who is seeking justice through that legal process. He has imperilled Ms Higgins one chance to seek justice, under the guise of publicly declaring his regret for her situation. And he has done it all under parliamentary privilege.  Incompetence? 

In the ACT the charge cannot be heard in a judge-alone trial, but must be heard before a jury. The accused’s lawyers are now seeking a stay on the criminal proceedings, on the grounds that Morrison has prejudiced their client’s case. If they are successful the trial could be delayed, or aborted indefinitely. 

An arrogant, stupid and unfortunate mistake made by an incompetent politician? 

Or a calculated, self-interested outcome in the guise of a message of concern and regret? 

That Morrison was unaware of the possible consequences of naming Ms Higgins in his speech is not a credible explanation. He has frequently, in parliament, declined to comment on certain situations because they are before the courts, so we know he is conscious of the sub judice prohibition and to suggest otherwise is ludicrous. It’s also barely credible that those involved in the preparation of the speech were unaware of its potential to derail the trial.

Nobody knows what the trial might reveal. What we do know is that none of it will be good for Morrison. His stated knowledge of the alleged rape of Ms Higgins remains contested. Accusations of a cover-up by senior advisors and government ministers remain alive. The recent revelation of Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s text to Ms Higgins in which he describes Scott as a liar and a hypocrite, again brings into question the veracity of the PM’s account of when he was told of the alleged rape. 

There are many reasons to argue that the sabotaging of the June trial is advantageous to the Prime Minister, not least because it will bring his questionable role in the events back into public focus, whether they are relevant to the trial or not. 

It’s time to stop explaining Morrison’s actions as merely “incompetent.”  The “incompetence” excuse serves only to conceal the depth of his self-interest, and the lengths to which he will go to protect himself and further his own concerns. He is a thoroughly ill-intentioned man with enormous power, who will do anything he needs to do to retain that power. 

“Incompetent” comes nowhere near describing the dark heart of this man, indeed, that descriptor only works to soften and humanise his psychopathy. He is at heart dangerously ill-intentioned. He may well be incompetent with it, but to underestimate his potential for destruction by dismissing it as incompetence is foolish. 

His efforts to sabotage this rape trial should alarm all women, and the men who are our allies. We are nothing to this man. His contempt for us is so boundless that he will even use an apology to derail the possibility of justice, because it’s in his interests to do so. 

It’s transactional, stupid. 

7 Responses to “Morrison attempts to derail rape trial under guise of apology”

  1. Fiona February 12, 2022 at 10:33 am #

    Excellent analysis, Dr Jennifer.

    My opinion of scrott is too incendiary to be put into words.


  2. Florence nee Fedup February 12, 2022 at 10:49 am #

    It appears the PM didn’t intend to make the sorry speech, which he did poorly. At best, it looked like a rush job. The address was supposed to be aimed at all who suffered abuse while working in the parliament house. Unfortunately, none was invited until an independent arranged for seven in the public gallery. Rudd & Gillard set precedence for how one apologises. One invites all harmed to gather, to hear the apologising. Addressing Parliament is not adequate.


  3. Anonymous February 12, 2022 at 12:06 pm #

    “We are nothing to this man.”

    Yep, this is the fundamental point – I do believe he genuinely feels that women are inferior beings, who he struggles to relate to, but who he thinks require His paternalising in order to feel safe. It probably wouldn’t occur to him that resolution in court would be more meaningful than a few of his platitudes.

    But at the same time I completely agree, we cannot but conclude that he knows precisely what the implications are for the trial. He has wielded the power of information supply and withdrawal ever since he came to prominence in his crusade against asylum seekers and the suppression of “on water matters”.

    For some time now I’ve been having a visceral disgust reaction every time I see Scott Morrison, and I just want him to go away. Happy election year everyone.


  4. Jane February 12, 2022 at 4:19 pm #

    From the very first time I heard that creature’s name and how he gained preselection, I realised how utterly without scruples, morals ethics or integrity he is. If even a low life like Barnyard finds him beneath contempt, it’s difficult to understand how anyone could possibly think he’s fit to be PM.
    If further proof were needed, the fact that the moral vacuum Trump approves of him, should banish all doupt.


  5. doug quixote February 13, 2022 at 11:17 am #

    It may be poor form to quote oneself, but I’ll risk it this once –

    “Scott Morrison “has a reputation for lying” in the words of his own former PM.

    His attitudes and beliefs are reactionary and almost as antediluvian as Abbott, another former PM who couldn’t lie straight in bed.

    It is hard to know which of Morrison’s deficiencies will affect us the worst –

    1) his poor diplomacy (France over the subs, China over almost every issue except trade, our near neighbours who are almost ignored);

    2) his recalcitrance over climate change and his love of coal (remember the stunt in parliament with the lump of coal?);

    3) his absence from duty and slow actions in responding to the bushfires and the pandemic crises, and potentially the same in any future crisis;

    4) his adherence to a strange Christian cult and its speaking in tongues happy clappy ways;

    5) his tin ear whenever called upon to respond to local, national or international events (this latest gallows RWNJ anti-vaxers affair is typical);

    6) his cynical and ad hoc approach to just about any social issue you care to name;

    7) his readiness to quote and requote lies and rightist propaganda (is that tautology?);

    8) his readiness to do whatever it takes to shore up a vote – surely he can’t be gaining any.

    I’m sure there are others – you, dear reader may have additions to make.”

    He appears to have added to his list of faults, severely prejudicing the trial, and as Jennifer says has “imperilled Ms Higgins one chance to seek justice,”

    The man is a disgrace.


  6. marymtf February 15, 2022 at 7:22 am #

    Watch the national press club gathering the other night?


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