Note the date in your diary - 15 March 2021 - because the date itself is not memorable. You will never forget the day though - the day thousands of angry women gathered outside Parliament House in their March4Justice campaign to highlight the appalling misogyny and mistreatment of women, both in and outside parliament. You will never forget that our PM was invited to join them, to listen to them, to hear their stories, to empathise with them, to feel their pain, their anguish. Neither will you ever forget that he chose, quite deliberately, to stay within the safety of his Prime Ministerial office, instead offering them an invitation to join him in his castle, where he feels safe. As he often reminds us, he is the PM after all, and avoids attending such rallies, hinting his safety might be at risk, a proposition denied strenuously by Cait Kelly in her New Daily
article: Women’s march organisers hit back at claim Morrison would have been unsafe.
Women will not forget.
Already enraged, they were further angered by the insensitive remarks of the very person they most wanted to listen, and really hear - their Prime Minister - the most powerful person in the land, the one most able to respond positively with all the strength and resources of the nation’s federal parliament. Is there any other person in this country that is more enabled to make telling decisions that could counter the chronic misogynist malaise that afflicts our parliament - a malady in clear view to those with wide-open eyes to see. Those who have been living under a rock can catch up by viewing the 22 March episode of Four Corners: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Does our PM, the Honourable Scott Morrison, MP, really believe that come the next federal election these women will ‘forget’ his ineptitude, his tone-deafness, his arrogant dismissal of their concerns? Does he really believe they are so fearful of his authority, so naive, that they will be forgiving?
Also, does he expect these women to forget that his so-called ‘Minister for Women’, Marise Payne, was too busy to walk a few paces from the safety of her office to join the protestors to hear their anguish and their pleas for a better deal? Will they swallow her lame excuse, set out so revealingly in the West Australian
? Does she think voters are so stupid, so naive?
Women are queuing up to express their disgust at PM Morrison’s behaviour. Cait Kelly has this to say:
The organisers of Monday’s women’s rally outside Parliament House have hit back at a Liberal MP’s claim that Prime Minister Scott Morrison couldn’t attend the march because of security issues.
On Saturday Liberal MP Jason Falinski told the ABC that Scott Morrison couldn’t join the March4Justice rally for security reasons.
“He is the Prime Minister of the country and there are security issues around those sorts of issues, about him going into big crowds,” Mr Falinski said.
But organisers of the protest have hit back, stressing it was a safe space and that the invitation to attend had been extended across the political spectrum. “Women’s spaces are meant to be safe spaces,” insisted organiser Janine Hendry.
“The marches were inclusive, respectful, and kindness was present. When members of parliament and senators joined the Canberra crowd we welcomed them with cheers and applause. Both Mr Morrison and Minister for Women Marise Payne refused to attend the march, instead inviting the organisers to a private meeting. Their offer was rejected before the rally on Monday morning, with Ms Hendry insisting the leaders should come out and recognise the thousands of attendees. “We have already come to the front door, now it’s up to the government to cross the threshold and come to us. We will not be meeting behind closed doors.”
As if to leave no doubt in the mind of the electorate about his appalling tin ear, he redoubled this behavioural trait during his March 23 press conference, when following still more revelations of the revolting behaviour of parliamentary staffers, he sought to ‘explain’ his own behaviour, ‘tears’ in his eyes, with still more references to the most important women in his life - Jen and his girls. In telling words, Angela Priestly exposes this charade in her article in Women’s Agenda: Scott Morrison gave a powerful speech on ‘hearing women’, but then failed on substance.
Then, to reinforce in voters’ minds his ineptitude and his unsuitability for the high office of Prime Minister, he foolishly resorted to his habitual defensive strategy, taking aim at News Corp
, upon which he relies for support, accusing the organisation of harassment, only to find he was wrong: ”Right now, you would be aware that in your own organisation that there is a person who has had a complaint made against them of harassment of a woman in a women’s toilet,”
. News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller soon hit back: ”Prime Minister Scott Morrison was wrong today to claim an investigation is under way into a complaint accusing an employee of harassment against a woman in a female toilet. No complaint has been received and News Corp and Sky News are not dealing with a complaint.”
Even as this piece is being written, more damning accounts of PM Morrison’s inept behaviour arrive by the hour! Better stop writing before it becomes encyclopaedic.
No more weighty words are needed. Time will test the prediction that Scott Morrison’s government, like the proverbial smelly fish, is rotting from the head down, and will lose the next election. 15 March 2021 though will stick in our memory as the day the rot began.