Brittany Higgins exposes PM’s failure to lead

Illustration: Simon Letch
Morrison has his Charlottesville moment “It’s not my fault everyone’s doing it”

The idea that a question so fundamental to our sense of self as a people would arise on his watch would have been absurd a fortnight ago. But it was inevitable once we learned that a young woman who worked for Morrison’s government had been allegedly raped by a colleague in Parliament House. Inevitable because the Prime Minister’s first instinct was to see the story of Brittany Higgins politically. He sensed the issue would be damaging for his government, and took the short cut of denial. He wanted the public to know he wasn’t told by anyone in his office or his ministry before the news broke on February 15. Illustration: Simon Letch Illustration: Simon LetchCredit:The Sydney Morning Herald He has taken that argument to the strangest place of all, where he says he is aware of rumours on the Labor side, as well as his own, but not the specific allegation of a violent crime against Higgins, committed just 50 metres from his own office. “Once again, the Leader of the Opposition can come to this dispatch box, seek to state these matters and seek to pointscore on them,” Morrison told Parliament on Wednesday. “But the issue that is here is the issue that we all must address. These matters, as we know, are not confined to any one side of politics in this building.” That need to be blameless at all times echoes the self-sabotaging stand he took during the black summer of fires, when he said he didn’t hold a hose, mate. He didn’t start the fires, and it was the responsibility of the states to put them out.

Brittany Higgins exposes PM’s failure to lead

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