What a week!

Disgusting accusations, growling, shouting, standover tactics by the PM re floor-crossing, dogged insistence on keeping ‘national cabinet’ minutes and alleged rape response secret, guest workers exploitation revealed. Truly, this all happened.

Revolting and humiliating. The Jenkins Review heard that thirty-three percent of women in Parliament House experienced some form of sexual harassment. 

Aspiring male politicians who thought nothing of, in one case, picking you up, kissing you on the lips, lifting you up, touching you, pats on the bottom, comments about appearance, you know, the usual … the culture allowed it.

The review was handed to the Parliament on Tuesday recommending a significant overhaul of Federal Parliament’s toxic workplace culture. Commissioner Kate Jenkins says a new code of conduct is needed that prohibits bullying, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and workplace discrimination. Just like any other workplace really.

Here’s the kicker – The PM said he was not surprised by the findings. In other words, he knew what was going on and chose to cover it up rather than fix it.

Of course he would know about such things having just berated Liberal MP Bridget Archer who dared to vote differently from the other Liberals though such freedoms are said to be the cornerstone of the party.

Let’s hope the review doesn’t follow the usual gathering dust path.

Christian Porter steps down rather than face the music, bemoaning the harshness of politics.  He will be remembered for dishing out plenty of harshness of his own, think Bernard Collaery suffering endless secret court action for revealing illegal government bugging of Timor Leste. The prosecution has cost taxpayers nearly $4 million so far and for what end? It’s also costing Collaery his livelihood and much more.

Porter was the social services minister who dreamt up ‘robodebt’. That too was harsh and unlawful and it cost the public purse $1 billion. We have Porter to thank for abolishing the Family Court too.

Cross-trading of the worst kind. This week a deal was done with Labor in order to stifle criticism of government by charity NGOs. This takes the cake. Charities are now forced to reveal their donors over $250k – half the current threshold – in return for the government dropping its ‘show-your-ID-before-voting’ bill that polling presumably showed would advantage the conservatives because many would be discouraged from voting because of lack of adequate ID. It certainly wasn’t addressing a problem of people voting more than once – those numbers are extremely low – 0.12% and, of these ~80% were AEC staff errors. The Trump-led Republican Party was apparently the source of this idea.

Why does the govt want to know who is donating to what advocacy group, retrospectively? Charity legislation allows government to take away charity status and access to tax-deductibility if a charity’s advocacy is ‘partisan’ and presumably the evidence of who is donating matters in determining this. It will both stifle criticism and discourage donations so there’s a lot to lose.

In SA Attorney-General was suspended by the Parliament for deliberately misleading the house and telling untruths. Quite a bit of that goes on at the Federal level too but oddly, the sanctions, again, seem to apply mainly to women.

Rebecca Huntley’s report in The Monthly, exposes the fossil-fuel industry’s grip on Australian hearts and minds and tells us subsidies to these climate-damaging industries have cost state, territory and federal governments $1.3 billion over the past financial year – a fact that surprised most people she talked with.

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